For the first time in his presidency, Republican lawmakers are expected to join Democrats in berating Trump.
The United States House of Representatives is set to override President Donald Trump’s veto on legislation setting the annual budget of the United States military.
The Democratic-controlled House is also set to approve a proposal to increase COVID-19 relief payments to be sent to US citizens to $ 2,000.
Congress had approved direct payments of $ 600 to individuals as part of a $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed last week. In signing the COVID-19 relief bill on Sunday, Trump said he wanted to see more direct relief given to struggling Americans.
Raising stimulus checks to $ 2,000 from $ 600 would cost an additional $ 464 billion, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated.
The House vote on direct payments is largely symbolic, with Congress nearing the end of its session and a new Congress and President-elect Joe Biden are expected to start debating a new set of COVID relief laws -19 at the start of next year.
Meanwhile, a large bipartisan majority in the House and Senate had backed the Defense Bill, which authorizes $ 740 billion in defense funding, includes salary increases for U.S. troops and their families. Trump vetoed it on December 23.
The rejection of the president’s veto would be both a measure of his declining influence in Congress and the substantive disagreement of lawmakers with his rationale for opposing the bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s veto “a staggering reckless act” when she announced last week that the House would return today to vote on a waiver.
The Republican-led Senate is expected to vote on the waiver on December 29. If the Senate joins the House in overriding Trump’s veto by a two-thirds majority, the bill would become law without Trump’s signature.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, had urged Trump not to veto the bill, noting his strong bipartisan support in Congress.
The Republican-led Senate voted 84 to 13 to approve the bill after it was passed by the Democratic-controlled House by a vote of 335 to 78 on December 8 – the two margins above two-thirds needed to overturn the veto presidential.
Trump had opposed provisions in the annual Defense Policy Bill that will require his administration to report to Congress on the potential risks to US national security of troop withdrawals that Trump has announced in Afghanistan, South Korea and in Germany.
The president opposes a provision that would require the Pentagon to change the names of military bases bearing the names of former Confederate soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.
“I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to erase history and dishonor the immense progress our country fought for in realizing our founding principles,” Trump wrote in his post. veto in the United States House.
I will veto the defense bill, which will make China very unhappy. They adore it. Must have the termination of Section 230, protect our national monuments and allow the withdrawal of the military from distant lands and very little appreciated. Thank you! https://t.co/9rI08S5ofO
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2020
In addition, the President was unhappy that Congress had not repealed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which protects social media companies from liability for content posted on their platforms by the users.
“Your failure to end the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step,” Trump said.