BREAKING: Trump Vetoes the Defense Authorization Act

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Posted: Dec 23, 2020 3:35 PM
BREAKING: Trump Vetoes the Defense Authorization Act

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

After warning of plans to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, President Donald Trump followed through on the threat Wednesday afternoon and cited a number of reasons for the decision. 

"No one has worked harder, or approved more money for the military, than I have -- over $2 trillion.  During my 4 years, with the support of many others, we have almost entirely rebuilt the United States military, which was totally depleted when I took office.  Your failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step," Trump said in a memo to Congress. "The Act fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision.  Section 230 facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It must be repealed."

Further, Trump rejected the bill because it requires a number of military installations be renamed. He also called the legislation a "gift to China and Russia."

"The Act includes language that would require the renaming of certain military installations.  Over the course of United States history, these locations have taken on significance to the American story and those who have helped write it that far transcends their namesakes," he continued. "My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country.  From these facilities, we have won two World Wars.  I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles."  

Since the legislation passed both houses of Congress with veto proof majorities, the move is symbolic. The veto is expected to be overridden next week with a vote in the House Monday and in the Senate, Tuesday.