House overrides Trump veto of massive defense bill


The House on Monday evening issued a bipartisan rebuke to President Trump for his recent veto of the must-pass annual defense policy bill, sending a clear message to the White House that a majority of lawmakers back the legislation.

If the Senate, which has already passed the bill by a veto-proof two-thirds majority, follows the House’s lead later this week, it will mark the only time in Mr. Trump’s presidency in which Congress has overridden one of his vetoes.

Lawmakers voted to override Mr. Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense bill on a 322-87 vote, with more than 100 House Republicans bucking their party leader.

Mr. Trump last week vetoed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, both for what it contained — a mandate to strip U.S. military bases of names honoring Confederate figures and new limitations of the president’s right to draw down troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere — and what it didn’t — a provision repealing legal protections for giant social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter over the content on their sites.

Mr. Trump said the legislation “fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision,” referring to the provision regarding online content.

He also contended that the bill was not tough enough in confronting the military threat from China.

But even Republicans who agreed with Trump on the Section 230 issue said it did not belong in the traditionally bipartisan NDAA, a massive budget and policy bill for the Pentagon that has been approved annually for 59 consecutive years.

Although a few House Republicans shifted to oppose the measure after Mr. Trump’s veto, they fell far short of success. The bill includes a number of attractive features for lawmakers, including a 3% troop pay raise, funding for new weapons systems in districts across the country, new policies to deter China and Russia, and increases in housing protections and standards for military families.

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