Jan 6th Comes into Focus

Jan 6th Comes into Focus 

Trump Says China ‘Biggest Winner’ of US National Defense Bill, Vows to Veto

December 13, 2020 Updated: December 13, 2020

President Donald Trump said that he will veto the defense bill that passed with bipartisan support in Congress last week.

“THE BIGGEST WINNER OF OUR NEW DEFENSE BILL IS CHINA!. I WILL VETO!” the president declared on Twitter on Dec. 13.

The Senate on Dec. 11 passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in an 84–13 vote, after the president said he would veto the measure. The House had earlier approved the bill by a 335–78 vote.

“I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO,” the president wrote on Dec. 8. “Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!”

For months, the president has railed against Section 230, a federal law that provides blanket liability protections for social media and tech companies. Trump and Republicans have said the bill allows those companies to essentially make discretionary choices about what content should be allowed, adding that the companies have unfairly targeted conservatives.

The NDAA bill also doesn’t support Trump’s efforts to draw down troops in Afghanistan and Germany.

“Today, we passed the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement on Dec. 11 following its passage. “NDAA keeps America safe by giving troops a well-deserved raise, providing them with cutting-edge technology, [and] funding important defense projects.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, “This legislation is a vital step in the process of funding America’s defense to provide protection for our country and care for our troops.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill will “keep our forces ready to deter China and stand strong in the Indo-Pacific,” and provides “more than $740 billion for the training, tools, and cutting-edge equipment that our service members and civilian employees need to defend American lives and American interests.”

One of those who voted against the measure, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), said he doesn’t support a bill that limits Trump’s actions in drawing down troops from Germany and Afghanistan.

Should Trump veto the bill, some lawmakers said they believe they will be able to override it.

“I think we can override the veto, if in fact he vetoes,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Dec. 8. “I hope he does not veto, I hope he reconsiders. And I think he will get substantial pressure, advice (from Republicans) that, you know, you don’t want to put the defense bill at risk.”

House Votes to Override Trump’s Veto of 2021 Defense Policy Bill

December 28, 2020 Updated: December 28, 2020

The House voted late Monday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense spending bill for 2021.

The override measure, passed by a 322-87 vote, is now headed to the Senate for consideration, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that his chamber would vote on Tuesday to override Trump’s veto. The override would need a two-thirds majority to succeed.

“In the event that the president has vetoed the bill, and the House has voted to override the veto, the Senate would have the opportunity to process a veto override at that time,” McConnell previously said on Dec. 22.

The bill, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), outlines the national security policy for the Department of Defense in 2021 and authorizes $740 billion in spending. It passed the House on Dec. 8 by a vote of 335–78, and later passed the Senate on Dec. 11 by a vote of 84–13.

Trump vetoed the bill on Dec. 23, saying that it fails to remove Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, among other reasons. Section 230 provides blanket liability protections for social media and tech companies.

“Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions,” the president said in a Dec. 23 statement. “It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”

There’s no mention in the NDAA defense bill of Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, he noted. Trump said the 1996 law “must be repealed,” as it facilitates “the spread of foreign disinformation online,” making it a “serious threat to our national security and election integrity.”

Both Republicans and Democrats have called for Section 230 to be repealed. Conservatives have said it enables social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to make discretionary choices in censoring dissenting views, while some progressives have said the law fails to take “hate speech” posted on those platforms into account.

Trump, in his statement, noted that the NDAA doesn’t support his ability to “withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea.”

“Not only is this bad policy, but it is unconstitutional. Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and vests in him the executive power. Therefore, the decision regarding how many troops to deploy and where, including in Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea, rests with him. The Congress may not arrogate this authority to itself directly or indirectly as purported spending restrictions.”

The House late on Monday also voted to increase COVID-19 relief direct payments from $600 to $2,000, a measure supported by the president.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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