Donald Trump faced new humiliation on Monday when more than a hundred Republicans joined the Democrats of Representatives to override his veto of a $ 741bn defense bill.
If, as expected, the Senate suits this weekend, it will be the first such rebellion of its presidency of Congress, with only three weeks left to run.
During a high-stakes day on Capitol Hill, the Democratic-controlled House also voted to increase the coronovirus relief payment to $ 2,000 per person. It was a move supported by Trump, but is thought unlikely to progress in the Senate.
The National Defense Authorization Act, which caters for salaries of service members, foreign military operations and other needs, has been passed by Congress every year since 1967. Trump exercised his veto last week, including a proposal to change his name with objections to the bill. 10 military bases honoring Confederate leaders.
Trump was also unhappy that the law did not repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decisions Act, which protects tech companies from legal liability on content posted by their users. The president has alleged political bias against him on Facebook and Twitter.
His objections served as the latest loyalty test for Republicans following his election defeat by Joe Biden. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that he would not vote to override Trump’s veto despite supporting the original bill, which passed both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan support.
But this was not enough. Some 109 Republicans broke from Trump on Monday and joined the Democrats to support the bill. The final tally of 322–87 comfortably reached the two-thirds limit needed to cross the veto.
Republican Mac Thornberry, the most senior Republican on the House’s Armed Services Committee, urged colleagues who supported the bill to withdraw it again earlier this month. “This is exactly the same bill, not the comma has changed,” he said. “I would just like to ask that as members vote, they put the best interests of the country first. There is no other idea that matters.”
Committee chairman Democrat Adam Smith said: “It is very important that we pass this bill. We did it once. Let’s just do it once, and then we can all go home for the year. We can be done, and we can be proud of what we have accomplished. “
The bill is expected to appear before the Republican-controlled Senate later this week. It will become law when passed by a two-thirds majority. Trump has exercised the veto nine times during his presidency, but it will be the first override by Congress.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed gratitude that Trump’s “dangerous sabotage efforts” were thwarted. He said, “The President should end his eleventh-hour campaign of anarchy, and stop using his last moments in office to hinder bipartisan and bicameral action to protect our military and protect our security.” ,” he said.
But activists found little solace in Republican defiance. Mary Small, Acting National Policy Director of Indivisible, said: “This is no reason for celebration. It is sad and tragic that the only time Republicans banded together to flaunt Trump was in pursuit of a hyper-militarized foreign policy and none of the defense budgets and other terrible, democracy-devastating, cruel things did not do. “
Trump blinded Republicans again last week when he initially refused to sign a government funding of $ 2.3tn and the Coronaires Relief Package, which had taken Congress months to negotiate. He eventually relied on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Sunday night, in a government shutdown.
Trump agreed that direct incentive payments to US citizens should be increased to $ 2,000, as opposed to $ 600. On Monday, the House voted 275–134 in favor of the higher amount, which included 44 Republican Democrats. But it is not certain that it will even be taken by the Senate, where again many Republicans will find themselves in the uncomfortable position of passing Trump.
Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, said: “The House has passed a $ 2,000 direct payment to working people. It’s time for the Senate to act. Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor this week, Trump’s veto $ 740 Want to vote to end the billion-dollar defense funding bill and then return home for the new year. I’m objecting as long as we have legislation on how to provide direct payment of $ 2,000 to the working class Don’t get votes. “
Sanders, a former candidate in the Democratic presidential nominee, said, “Let me be clear: If Senator McConnell does not agree to an up or down vote to provide $ 2,000 direct payments to the working people of our country, then Congress Will not be home for New Year’s Eve. Let’s do our work. “