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President Trump vetoes massive defense bill, calling the legislation a 'gift to China and Russia'


The House and Senate are expected to hold override votes next week

Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump vetoed the $740 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, calling the legislation a "gift" to China and Russia.

The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Democrat-controlled House and Republican-led Senate earlier this month, and both chambers are expected to hold override votes on the measure next week.

What are the details?

In a statement announcing the move, Trump said that while his administration "recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security," it "fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and military's history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions."

He called the NDAA in its current form "a 'gift' to China and Russia," before adding, "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."

The president went on to criticize Congress for refusing to include a provision in the NDAA that would repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that The Hill noted "provides a legal shield to tech companies like Twitter and Facebook."

Trump had threatened to veto the NDAA a number of times including last week, when he tweeted, "I will Veto the Defense Bill, which will make China very unhappy. They love it. Must have Section 230 termination, protect our National Monuments and allow for removal of military from far away, and very unappreciative, lands. Thank you!"

The president has also spoken out against renaming military bases named after Confederates, which was included in the legislation.

The House passed the NDAA overwhelmingly on Dec. 8 with a vote tally of 335-78-1, and the Senate also passed it with a veto-proof majority of 84-13.

According to CSPAN, the "House will hold its veto override vote Monday [and] if it's successful, [the] Senate will attempt to hold their vote Tuesday." The Washington Post reported that if successful, it would be the first veto override of Trump's presidency.

The outlet further explained:

Congress has until Jan. 3 at 11:59 a.m. — a Sunday — to override the veto and force the defense bill to become law.If they do nothing, it will expire along with the end of the two-year congressional session at noon that day.
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