The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the $ 740 billion US defense budget bill for 2021. In turn, President Donald Trump promised to veto the bill that would ensure the functioning of the Pentagon and all the departments within its structure.
335 legislators voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), while only 78 voted against. The bill received strong support from both Democrats and Republicans, and the majority of votes in support of the document is large enough to count on that Congress will be able to overcome the presidential veto.
The Senate is expected to vote on this bill this week. Supporters of the budget pass hope Trump will reconsider his point of view if the bill is supported by a majority of Republican senators.
The NDAA sets the Pentagon’s budget on all aspects, from the number of ships and rifles to the pay of the military and the fight against geopolitical threats. The law has been passed annually by an overwhelming majority in Congress for 59 consecutive years.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to exercise his veto on the defense budget bill. The president recently demanded that the document include a provision to repeal section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which exempts technology companies, including Alphabet Inc., Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc, from liability for content posted by users on their platforms. Trump and many of his supporters believe tech companies are biased towards conservative advocates.
The president’s threats have been criticized by many lawmakers, who believe that repealing Section 230 has nothing to do with defense and should not be part of the NDAA. Many said the president’s fears of social media bias should not be a pretext for blocking a 4,500-page bill of great importance to the Pentagon. Support for the bill was voiced by Mc Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.
The White House on Tuesday afternoon officially promised to exercise its veto power over the bill.
While most Republicans in Congress support Trump, a handful of them said they would vote to lift the veto, even if it would shorten their Christmas holidays. If the Senate passes the bill, Trump will have 10 days to exercise his veto. Otherwise, the bill will automatically become law.