The Republican-held Senate will vote Wednesday on overriding US President Donald Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense spending bill, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday.
Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said that while the legislation does not include every item Republicans would have wanted, its importance is more than enough to ensure it clears the chamber.
“For 59 consecutive years and counting Washington has put our differences aside, found common ground and passed the annual defense bill. Not once in six decades has a Congress let its differences prevent it from completing its work for our national security and the men and women who wear the uniform,” he said.
Trump vetoed the annual defense funding bill last week, following through on his threat to do so over a litany of grievances. Among them, the president has demanded the bill include revisions to an internet free speech law that shields websites from lawsuits over user-created content that they host.
Trump has also lambasted a requirement within the bill that the Defense Department rename military installations that bear the name of Confederate officials. The Confederacy was a separatist movement that fought against the US in the mid-1800s to maintain the right to own Black people as slaves.
The bases, as well as monuments honoring Confederates, became a flashpoint of public protests following the police-involved killings of Black men this year, including George Floyd in May.
The defense bill is highly likely to pass the Senate with more than the two-thirds needed majority, a fact Trump acknowledged earlier Tuesday.
“Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass. Say goodbye to VITAL Section 230 termination, your National Monuments, Forts (names!) and Treasures (inserted by Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren), 5G, and our great soldiers being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us,” he fumed on Twitter.
“A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!” he added.
Both chambers require two-thirds support to overrule the president, and the House received far more in its 322-87 vote on Monday as it garnered sweeping bipartisan support. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill 84-13 earlier this month prior to Trump’s veto.
With the Senate’s likely support to override the president, Trump is almost certain to be dealt a sharp bipartisan rebuke as he prepares to leave office Jan. 20.
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