US Congress overturns Trump defense spending bill veto
The US Congress overturned President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense spending bill.
This has happened the first time in his presidency.
According to the international news agency, the Republican-controlled Senate held a rare New Year’s Day session to debate the move, which had already been voted for by the House of Representatives.
The $740bn (£549bn) bill will support the defense policy for the year. The Senate voted 81-13 for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – a two-thirds majority is required to override a presidential veto in both chambers.
Trump had taken issues with policies that restrict troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Europe and remove the names of Confederate leaders from military bases. He also desired that the bill should repel a liability shield for social media companies.
He had called the 4,500-page act, which has been nearly a year in the making, a “gift to China and Russia”.
“Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions,” he said in a statement.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he was determined to pass the bill.
“Here’s what the Senate is focused on – completing the annual defense legislation that looks after our brave men and women who volunteer to wear the uniform.
“We’ve passed this legislation 59 years in a row. And one way or another, we’re going to complete the 60th annual NDAA and pass it into law before this Congress concludes on Sunday,” he added.
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