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Congress Overrides Trump's Veto of NDAA

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised an override of Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act  (NDAA) and he delivered it.

The bipartisan vote came after Trump's veto, objecting to the renaming of Confederate military bases.

Trump also demanded a repeal of the legal immunity social-media companies enjoy for users’ content,  a provision that has nothing to do with NDAA. 

Wall Street Journal Comments

Mr. Trump has vetoed eight other bills during his time in the White House, with several of them focused on foreign policy and national-security issues, such as U.S. military activity in Yemen, the use of force against Iran, and arms sales to Saudi Arabia. While Republicans had joined Democrats to initially pass those measures, supporters couldn’t muster enough GOP votes to override the vetoes from a Republican president.

The Trump administration’s recent effort to cut troop levels in Afghanistan in half, to roughly 2,500, by Jan. 15, has alarmed some Republicans. The NDAA requires the administration to submit to Congress a comprehensive assessment of the withdrawal before it can use funds to pull out troops.

In addition to creating a commission for removing or changing names of bases, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia honoring Confederate commanders, the bill also limits the president’s authority to use emergency military construction funds. Other measures in the legislation include requiring companies in the U.S. to register their true owners and restricting employees or former employees of the defense-industrial base from working directly for Chinese government-owned or -controlled companies.

The above clips from the WSJ

The Override Vote

  • The Senate voted 81-13 to override the veto today.
  • The House’s voted 322-87 override on Monday

It takes 2/3 (66.7%) majority in both houses of Congress to override.

The override percentages were 86.1% in the Senate and 78.7% in the House.

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McConnell Not Afraid to Buck Trump

On December 28, I commented If McConnell Gives In to Trump's Demands, Trump Will Own Him.

McConnell Is At Bat

If the Senate caves in, Trump will own McConnell and the party in general. For that reason, I suspect Trump will strike out. 

Unlike other Republican leaders, McConnell has proven he is not afraid to buck Trump. McConnell delivered his override and the NDAA is now law. 

Three Trump Demands

In addition to delivering this override today, McConnell also angered Trump by lumping three of Trump's "demands" into a single package in a way to purposely guarantee defeat.

Trump's three demands were boosting the size of the Covid stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600, changes to online-speech rules, and an investigation of purported election fraud.

I commented on Trump's trio of demands in $600 Covid Checks are In the Mail, McConnell Blocks Increase to $2,000

McConnell lumped all of Trump's "demands" into one package in a way neither the House nor Senate will approve the bill.

Thus, McConnell gives Trump the vote Trump wants but in a way that Democrats or Republicans or both will kill it, possibly by debating it to death. 

The kill date is Noon on January 6. All pending legislation dies because Congress adjourns.

Time will expire in 5 days. Trump's demands are going nowhere.