US House passes defense bill, defying Trump’s veto threat

TEHRAN, Dec. 09 (MNA) – The US House has overwhelmingly passed annual defense policy legislation in the face of a veto threat from President Donald Trump.

The $741 billion defense policy bill that would require that Confederate names be stripped from American military bases was passed on Tuesday, in defiance of Trump’s veto threat and moving lawmakers one step closer to a potential showdown in his final weeks in office, Washington Post reported.

The 335-78 bipartisan vote to approve the legislation reflected optimism among lawmakers in both parties that Congress would be able to force the enactment of the bill over Trump’s objections, in what would be the first veto override of his presidency. The margin surpassed the two-thirds majority both the House and Senate would need to muster to do so.

It also amounted to a remarkable break from the president by Republicans, who refused to defer to Trump’s desire to derail the critical bill as his time in the White House comes to a close.

Trump pledged to veto the defense bill after making an eleventh-hour demand to include a repeal of the online company shield, known as Section 230. He reiterated the threat on Twitter on Tuesday and urged Republicans to oppose the bill ahead of the vote.

"I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO," Trump tweeted. "Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!"

The White House reiterated the veto threat in a statement issued ahead of Tuesday's vote. The administration said the bill "fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by this Administration to put America first."

Lawmakers in both parties and in both chambers have largely brushed off Trump's demand, with some leaders predicting a large enough vote may convince the president to back off.


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