The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging defense bill, defying a veto from the incumbent president, and setting up a potential showdown with Trump in his last few days in the presidential office. Democratic-controlled defense bill was passed with a 335-78 vote following the Republican president threatened to veto the $739 billion bill unless the legislators decide to clamp down on the social media companies, which he claims were biased against him during the November election.
On Tuesday, the incumbent took to Twitter and said that he would veto the defense bill unless the lawmakers scrap article 230, a section of the communication rules that protects social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Trump has also demanded to repeal the provision of the bill that allows renaming the army bases that now order leaders of the Confederate times.
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Despite the threat of veto, the congressional leaders vowed to move ahead with the popular defense bill that affirms nearly 3 percent pay raise American troops and authorizes other military programs in the US. The House approved the bill of Representatives well above the two-thirds votes required, and it now goes to the Senate for its approval.
Liz Cheney, a Republican representative from Wyoming, urged the incumbent not to move ahead with his veto plans and added that if he does veto the defense bill, they would have to override it. But with Trump constantly asking the Republicans to stand behind him, it remained unclear until the final count whether the bill would receive an overwhelming majority.
However, given the sensitivity of the bill, many Republicans have opposed Trump’s political showdown on the issue as many military programs can only start if the bill is approved. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he had talked to the president, and told him that this bill was not ideal for getting into the tech fight.
Meanwhile, Trump’s threat to veto the bill is being considered an attempt to bend the country’s political traditions. Even if the incumbent moves ahead with his veto plans, Congress could cut its Christmas holiday to hold override votes. On the other hand, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary, stated that Trump’s threat to veto the bill was justified. But traditionally, the defense bill is widely considered a bipartisan measure in the US, among the few areas where the political opposition finds common ground.
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