The defense bill was touted as ‘veto-proof’ — with enough bipartisan support that if Donald Trump, as threatened, vetoed it, Congress would easily override and pass it without him. Now that the president has followed through on his threat, it’s beginning to look like that ‘veto-proof majority’ was a misnomer.
Donald Trump threatened nearly a week ago that he would veto a defense spending bill unless it was amended to also repeal a portion of the Communications Decency Act and keep Confederate names attached to military bases. The repeal he’s calling for, of Section 230, is in response to social media networks correcting or adding disclaimers to false information he uses their platforms to disseminate.
Congress did not decide to add special Trump-centric Twitter protections to a defense bill, and Trump, as threatened, has vetoed it. According to NPR, there was bipartisan support for a veto override — that is, before the veto actually happened. Republicans and Democrats alike assured reporters and their constituents that they believed a veto would be overridden, and the National Defense Authorization Act would pass.
However, now that Trump has actually acted on his threats and an override would mean going against the president, some Republicans seem to be reluctant to do so. Senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, was quick to speak out after the veto, declaring that he wouldn’t vote for override unless Section 230 faced a “wind down.”
Congress should vote to Repeal Section 230 as requested by President @realDonaldTrump.
I will not vote to override presidential veto unless effort is made to wind down Section 230.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 23, 2020
Senators Mitch McConnell (R) and Chuck Schumer (D) have already agreed to reconvene after Christmas to vote on override, and Schumer says that Democrats will vote to override the veto.
Donald Trump just vetoed a pay raise for our troops so he can defend dead Confederate traitors.
Democrats will vote to override it.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020
However, Democrats currently make up just under half of the Senate, and a 2/3 majority is necessary to override a veto. This means that if enough Republican Senators follow Linsey Graham’s example, the override could fail.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com