Delivering a powerful blow to President Donald Trump, the US House of Representatives has voted by an overwhelming majority to override his veto of a USD 741 billion defence bill.
Trump last week vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021, which had bipartisan support, arguing it had provisions that would damage national security.
In the Democratic-controlled House, as many as 109 Republicans broke from Trump to vote in support of overriding the veto, delivering a 322-87 defeat to Trump only weeks before he leaves office.
The bill that funds the annual American defence spending now moves to the Republican-controlled Senate, which also needs to override the presidential veto by two-thirds of votes.
Both the House and the Senate, early this month, had voted overwhelmingly to pass the NDAA.
With this overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House has upheld our sacred Constitutional responsibility to keep our country and our people safe. The National Defense Authorization Act has been passed on a bipartisan and bicameral manner for sixty years, and it will become law, despite the president’s dangerous sabotage efforts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
The vote puts it on track to be the first legislation to become law over Trump’s objections.
The president’s reckless veto would have denied our servicemembers hazard duty pay; our families paid family leave, child care, housing improvements and health protections; and our veterans their benefits,” she said.
“It would have senselessly deprived our allies and country of key protections for global peace and security including for cyber-security, following a massive attack on our country,” she added.
The president must end his eleventh-hour campaign of chaos, and stop using his final moments in the office to obstruct bipartisan and bicameral action to protect US military and defend American security, Pelosi said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said: It is one that will go down in history as one of the final actions of a President who has spent four years denigrating the service of those who wear our nation’s uniform.”
Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to move swiftly in the Senate.
Trump vetoed the NDAA last week, after warning he would do so if it didn’t repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which shields big technology companies from liability for controversial content posted to their websites by third parties.
Trump also disagreed with provisions to rename military installations bearing the names of Confederate generals.