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Trump revives threat to veto defense bill, teeing up battle with lawmakers

Stock MarketsDec 13, 2020 05:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to West Point, New York from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday repeated his threat to veto a massive defense policy bill, setting the stage for a major battle with U.S. lawmakers at a time when they are racing to hammer out a compromise on more coronavirus relief.

The $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed both houses of Congress with more than the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.

Passage by the Republican-controlled Senate on Friday sent the measure to Trump, giving him 10 days - minus Sundays - to veto it, sign it or allow it become law without his signature.

Trump shrugged off hopes by backers of the bill that strong bipartisan support for the measure - which has become law for 59 straight years - would prompt him to reconsider his threat.

"THE BIGGEST WINNER OF OUR NEW DEFENSE BILL IS CHINA! I WILL VETO!" Trump tweeted on Sunday as he headed to the golf course he owns outside Washington.

The White House had no immediate comment about when Trump would act or what he meant by the reference to China.

Senator Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the bill contained bipartisan provisions that were "tougher on China than the Trump administration has ever been."

Trump previously objected to the fiscal 2021 NDAA because it did not repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects technology companies like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's Google, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) from liability for what appears on their platforms.

Trump has argued that tech firms have an anti-conservative bias, which the companies deny. Lawmakers from both parties say that concerns about social media should not kill legislation considered essential for the Pentagon.

A source familiar with Trump's thinking said the president was concerned that Twitter and other platforms often flagged comments by conservatives while allowing posts from Chinese officials that the Trump administration considers problematic.

Twitter has also flagged posts by Chinese officials in the past, including one in May in which Beijing suggested the coronavirus had been brought to China by the U.S. military.

Trump also wants to block an NDAA provision stripping the names of Confederate generals from military bases and opposes parts of the legislation that could slow plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Germany.

The NDAA determines everything from how many ships are bought and soldiers' pay to how to address geopolitical threats. Since it is a compromise, combining separate measures already passed in the House and Senate, it cannot be amended and will expire on Jan. 3 if the veto is not overturned.

A successful veto override would be the first of Trump's four-year presidency. He has had eight sustained.

Trump revives threat to veto defense bill, teeing up battle with lawmakers
 

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Comments (11)
Irvin Mermelstein
Irvin Mermelstein Dec 13, 2020 8:51PM ET
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The DOD appropriations bill passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses. What does Trump think he is doing?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Dec 13, 2020 8:51PM ET
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same reason he does anything, PR
Adrian White
Adrian White Dec 13, 2020 8:51PM ET
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He's desperately trying to give the illusion of still having some power. If he can't get what he wants then he'll do his best to delay and leave it for everyone else to deal with.
will hicks
will hicks Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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To all that can't face reality and continue to buy into a dictators ruse to destroy a democracy that has worked for 243 yrs. Let me remind you, if you don't like the way we do our elections,  America is a free country and you can leave anytime. I'm sure Putin would be happy to prop up his population and fill in that blank space labelled "Siberia". Free land and lots of space to ride your side by sides and bubblehead machines.
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Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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Everyone that votes should be in person with ID, make it a paid national holiday, then we can say it’s just like it was 243 years ago....It’s amazing you have to have two forms of ID to get a job in this country through E-Verify...yet it’s racist to request ID to vote and all the swing states allowed millions of votes to be pumped into thin air regardless of being requested. You are high if you think this wasnt a stolen election when it was a RED WAVE in csngress and state legislatures.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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Spoken like a true CCP supported. Get out of the USA. Now!
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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democracy?. like objecting the election decision such as venezuela
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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Zack Harding  "So you’re good with Partisen changes to election laws in swing state..."  --- PA and WI both have GOP majority in state legislature when the election laws were passed, but why let facts disrupt a good rant eh?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Dec 13, 2020 6:45PM ET
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Zack Harding  ".....then we can say it’s just like it was 243 years ago..."  -- so you long for the good old day when only white males can vote eh?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43PM ET
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All those sites, including this one, are full of chinese bots and they dont care as long as they make money.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 13, 2020 5:37PM ET
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Game over on Dec 18th. https://redstate.com/slee/2020/12/13/dni-ratcliffe-connects-china-the-pandemic-and-the-possible-foreign-election-interference-n293967
Michael Lomax
Michael Lomax Dec 13, 2020 5:37PM ET
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I dont believe anything about what Rags like Red State says. I believe in facts that can be verified. Try it!
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 13, 2020 5:37PM ET
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You clearly know nothing of the National Intelligence director, his views and the ongoing investigation. Informing yourself before you type those kinds of comments works wonders. try it!
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 13, 2020 5:37PM ET
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Michael Lomax lol,... like the fact Hunter Biden has been under investigation for taxes and money laundering including his father and China since 2018 and it was suppressed and everyone was told it was a debunked fake story by the media before the election? Now suddenly its news, and you are a fool.
Francesco Ammirata
Francesco Ammirata Dec 13, 2020 5:17PM ET
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who is Trump ?
Tim Daly
Tim Daly Dec 13, 2020 5:17PM ET
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Trump has been living rent free 24 x 7 for the last 4 years.
Tim Daly
Tim Daly Dec 13, 2020 5:17PM ET
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Tim Daly  In your minds. What will you all do when the boogie man is gone and all you need to deal with is the guy who doesn't even know is own name?
Tony Huynh
Tony Huynh Dec 13, 2020 3:56PM ET
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you Trump just eat up anything he says aren't you? How is a Defensive Bill for America benefit China? And the moment social media is responsible for their content all of you conspiracy posts will be the first thing gone.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:56PM ET
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Cut the defense while China is racking up. If u dont speak, nobody knows u s#
Jay West
Jay West Dec 13, 2020 3:45PM ET
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They are all soldout to the CCP. Anyone not brainwashed by MSM can easily see this.
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 13, 2020 3:23PM ET
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Looks like the Supreme Court's job isn't done yet....get em!!
andy matalobos
andy matalobos Dec 13, 2020 2:27PM ET
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Had Trumsky been in charge of the Manhattan Project, we,d all be speaking Japanese.
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Dec 13, 2020 2:27PM ET
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He would have sold the Bomb to Russia.
Tim Daly
Tim Daly Dec 13, 2020 2:27PM ET
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Joel Schwartz  Are you all deluded? Yeah but the guy who has been around for 47 years who his own Defense Secretary Gates says he has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue is your go to guy. Biden has done nothing for this country ever but you lefties are all slathering for  Biden Presidency. LOL
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Dec 13, 2020 2:27PM ET
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Tim Daly Doing “nothing” would have been an improvement on the Trump Administration’s handling of the pandemic. Guy is responsible for literal and economic genocide.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 13, 2020 2:27PM ET
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Joel Schwartz how can you say that when Trump what was the first in the world to ban travel and was called racist and xenophobic by Biden and all the left? As they were busy shooting for a fake impeachment? These so-called experts said millions would’ve died if this would’ve been the swine flu under Obama and Biden? Your hopes and dreams and opinions don’t equal facts, stop regurgitating lies please. CNN is proud, you can stop.
Me comment
Me comment Dec 13, 2020 1:41PM ET
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Trump tactic is to wait till the last minute veto the bill so Congress had to waste time on the override vote and not work on the other appropriation bills orcorona virus relief bill and try to cause the US to default because of a lack of an approved fiscal year 2021 budget. Wants to create as much chaos as possible before he leaves office.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 13, 2020 1:41PM ET
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Spoken like a true CCP supporter.
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 13, 2020 1:41PM ET
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Is that anything like what the media has done for the last four years? In partnership with the Democrats? Now I know Russian collusion came from the Hillary campaign and Obama was aware of it and we also know that Jo and his son are under investigation for doing illegal business in China...wow.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:05PM ET
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They r not anti conservatives. They r anti anything that make them to loose money.
 
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