US President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus briefing flanked by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, US Attorney General Bill Barr and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the White House in Washington, US, April 1 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would veto the expanded defense bill that allows a top line of $ 740 billion in spending and outlines Pentagon policies.
“I will introduce the Defense Act, which will make China very unhappy. They love it,” Trump tweeted. “Section 230 must be terminated, our National Monuments must be protected and allowed for the removal of soldiers from distant, and very little appreciated, countries. Thank you!’
On Friday, the Republican-led Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The 70-plus members required to pass the bill are more than the two-thirds majority it would take to defeat Trump’s promised veto.
Congress must now vote again to override Trump.
The NDAA, which is typically passed with strong bipartisan support and veto-right majorities, authorizes a topline of $ 740 billion in spending and outlines Pentagon policies.
Earlier this month, Trump threatened to veto the mandatory defense law if lawmakers don’t enact a measure that eliminates legal protections for social media companies.
Trump is calling for the repeal of a federal law, known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, that protects tech giants like Facebook and Twitter from legal liability for what is posted on their platforms.
Last week, Trump referred to the provision as a “liability foreclosure gift” to “Big Tech” and called for “complete termination,” or he would ignore this year’s NDAA.
The president also said the measure posed a serious threat to US national security and the integrity of the election, but did not provide further explanatory details. Trump has also said Twitter, his favorite social media platform, has falsely censored him.
The president’s issue with Section 230 came to light this summer after Twitter added warning labels to several of its tweets that alleged mail-in votes are fraudulent. Trump still hasn’t conceded the U.S. presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.
This year’s legislation includes a 3% pay rise for US troops, a plan to rename military installations with the names of Southern leaders, as well as a slew of other amenities.
The NDAA does not, in its current form, contain any measure related to Article 230.