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Donald Trump: US House of Representatives breaks veto on defense budget

The US House of Representatives has rejected the veto of the outgoing President Donald Trump against the defense budget, the so-called National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with a two-thirds majority.

In the Congress Chamber on Monday, more than a hundred MPs from Trump’s Republican Party, along with the opposition Democrats, voted against the president’s objection. For his veto to be overruled by Congress, however, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is still required.

Even the vote of the House of Representatives represents a serious setback for Trump. The Democrats dominate this chamber. But the two-thirds majority would not have come about if a large part of the Republican parliamentary group had not also voted against his veto. A total of 322 MPs voted against the veto, while only 87 MPs wanted to maintain it. 109 Republicans also voted against Trump’s objection.

Republicans have a majority in the Senate. Should this chamber also vote against Trump with a two-thirds majority, it would be the first time in his term of office that his formal objection to a bill is crushed by Congress.

Trump vetoed the $ 740.5 billion defense budget passed by Congress on Wednesday. He cited a number of reasons for this – including the fact that the text ran counter to his plans to withdraw troops from Germany as well as from Afghanistan and South Korea.

»› Gift ‹to China and Russia«

He also justified his resistance with the lack of “critical measures” to protect national security. “It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia,” he wrote in a communication to the House of Representatives.

The annual NDAA regulates a variety of defense policy issues, from the number of ships purchased and the wages of soldiers to how to deal with geopolitical threats. It has been adopted for 59 years in a row.

However, Trump wants companies like Facebook to be more responsible for the content of their users and has demanded a corresponding passage and other changes. So far, the corporations are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Critics complain that, as a result, there is insufficient action against terrorist propaganda, for example. Proponents speak of a pillar of freedom of expression.

Trump experiences growing opposition from Republican ranks in Congress in his final weeks in office. For example, parliamentarians in his own party criticized his days of refusal to sign the new mega aid package against the corona crisis worth around $ 900 billion. Trump then gave in on Sunday and signed the package of measures into force.

During his four-year term in office, Trump had vetoed legislative plans from Congress eight times. In none of these cases, however, had the necessary two-thirds majority been achieved in the parliamentary chambers to override his veto.

Trump’s term expires on January 20. On the same day, his elected successor Joe Biden is sworn in as the new US President.

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