The White House issued a formal threat on Tuesday to veto the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
The current NDAA allocates $1 trillion in defense spending, and a version of the bill has been passed every year for the past 59 years. However, President Trump has repeatedly indicated he would veto the bill unless his demands for the legislation are met.
One of the demands is a repeal of Section 230, which shields websites from liability for content uploaded by a third party. Trump and allies have blamed the law for allegedly allowing tech platforms including Twitter and Facebook to censor conservative viewpoints.
The president refuses to sign legislation that would mandate the renaming of certain army bases named after figures in the Confederacy, which would be required by the current NDAA. Additionally, the Trump administration claims that the current legislation would restrict the president’s ability to withdraw troops from foreign countries including Germany, South Korea, and Afghanistan.
“The Administration strongly opposes these and other provisions that put the interests of the Washington, D.C. establishment over those of the American people,” the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a letter to Congress on Tuesday. “The Administration stands ready to work with Congress on an improved NDAA, or to separately enact critically important provisions of this bill, such as a pay raise for our troops.”
The House Freedom Caucus, a group of 43 Republican representatives led by Andy Biggs of Arizona, announced that it would back the veto.
“We stand with the president,” Biggs told reporters on Capitol Hill.
However, it is not clear if Trump has enough support in Congress to prevent a veto override. Republicans Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) and Paul Mitchell (R., Mich.) are among those who support the legislation in its current form.
Apparently the President and his “advisors” wish to play “chicken” with raises for our troops and important national defense provisions of the NDAA until he gets precisely what he demands. I will vote to pass and to override any veto! https://t.co/Ai8yYGvTSj
— Rep. Paul Mitchell (@RepPaulMitchell) December 8, 2020
“Apparently the President and his ‘advisors’ wish to play ‘chicken’ with raises for our troops and important national defense provisions of the NDAA until he gets precisely what he demands,” Mitchell wrote on Twitter. “I will vote to pass and to override any veto!”