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Trump warns House GOP against voting for bipartisan defense bill

Donald Trump
Posted at 9:00 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 11:06:37-05

President Trump warned House Republicans against voting to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), saying in a tweet on Tuesday that he would veto the bill, which is expected to pass on a bipartisan basis in both houses of Congress.

Mr. Trump has complained about the inclusion of a provision which would create a commission to study renaming bases named for Confederate officials, as well as exclusion of a repeal for a policy that protects social media companies from liability for certain types of content. The House is expected to vote on a version of the NDAA negotiated between the House and the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

"I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO. Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Many members of Congress, including some Republicans, have argued that repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is unrelated to national security. Mr. Trump has targeted Senate Armed Services Committee Chair James Inhofe, a Republican, for his opposition to including a provision on Section 230 in the NDAA.

"It's unfortunate that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle disagree with the need for a full repeal – but, because of that, it is impossible to add a repeal of Section 230 to the defense authorization bill," Inhofe added in a statement Friday that did not explicitly refer to Mr. Trump's tweets criticizing him.

Some Republicans have also said that they would return to Congress later in December if Mr. Trump vetoes the bill in order to override the veto.

"We ought to pass the NDAA and the president should not veto it. And we should override it," Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney told reporters on Monday. Congressman Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday that Congress should return to override any veto.

"We would be rightly and fairly criticized when we can't come back to deal with military pay," Thornberry said.

Meanwhile, Congress is also pushing up against a December 11 deadline to pass a government funding bill. Congress is expected to vote on a one-week continuing resolution to push the deadline to December 18, and work on negotiating an omnibus bill to fund the government during that extra time.

Members of Congress are also considering passing another coronavirus stimulus bill, as several relief programs and policies are set to expire at the end of the year.