House Approves Defense Bill With Veto-Proof Majority After Trump Pushes GOP Opposition
Donald Trump is having a terrible week only two days in. On Tuesday, he got a double whammy from both his party and the Supreme Court justices he appointed, whom he mistakenly thought were only there to do his bidding with no questions asked, to demonstrate their loyalty. He has lost every court case since the election to overturn the results, and he is most likely facing certain prosecution in New York State once he’s no longer protected by the presidential powers he’s ritually abused since his first day in office.
Despite the remaining few who have stayed loyal, Trump is losing his grip over the Republican Party he once held in sway. On Tuesday morning, Trump urged House Republicans to oppose a major bill just hours ahead of a scheduled vote, saying, “I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO.”
The $740 billion bill includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment, and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan, but that hasn’t stopped Trump’s threats to veto it because it doesn’t include a repeal of Section 230, a law that shields internet companies from being liable for what is posted on their websites by them or third parties.
But the House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense bill with a veto-proof majority after that veto threat from Trump sharply divided Republican lawmakers, forcing them to choose between loyalty to him and legislation that sets defense policy for the country. The National Defense Authorization Act will next head to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass with bipartisan support, though it is not yet clear if it will similarly reach a veto-proof majority there.
The vote, which broke down to 335-78, is a major rebuke to the lame duck, who was counting on more support during his last weeks in office. If the House ends up voting to override a presidential veto, that vote could be far narrower, however, because at least some Republicans are likely to change their votes in order to sustain a veto.
The bill also includes provisions to limit how much money Trump can move around for his border wall and another that would require the military to rename bases that were named after figures from the Confederacy.