President Trump vetoed the annual defense spending bill on Wednesday, triggering plans for Congress to return from their holiday break to potentially override his decision. The bill recently passed both chambers of Congress by veto-proof majorities.
Congress must now vote again to override Trump. The House is slated to return from the holidays on Monday, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his chamber would vote on overriding the veto Tuesday.
Statement from the White House
This year’s 4,517-page defense bill, which typically passes with strong bipartisan support and veto-proof majorities, funds America’s national security portfolio. It has been signed into law for nearly six consecutive decades.
Trump called for lawmakers to include limits on social media companies he claimed are biased against him — and to strip out language that allows for the renaming of military bases such as Fort Benning and Fort Hood, which honors Confederate leaders.
Trump also stated that the measure “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. It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged approval despite Trump’s threat to veto it. McConnell said it was important for Congress to continue its nearly six-decade-long streak of passing the defense policy bill.