House votes to override Trump's veto of the defence bill



The Democratic-controlled House has voted to override President Donald Trump's veto of a defence policy bill.

House members voted 322-87 to override the veto, well above the two-thirds needed to override.

If approved by two-thirds of the Senate, the override would be the first of Trump's presidency.

Trump rejected the defence bill, saying that it failed to limit social media companies and claims that it was biased against him during his failed re-election campaign.

Trump also opposes language that allows for the renaming of military bases that honour Confederate leaders.

The defence bill, known as the National Defense Authorisation Act, or NDAA, affirms three per cent pay raises for US troops and authorises more than USD 740 billion in military programs and construction.

Trump's veto of the bill provoked swift condemnation, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it "an act of staggering recklessness that harms our troops, endangers our security and undermines the will of the bipartisan Congress".


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Trump has offered a series of rationales for rejecting the bill.

He urged lawmakers to impose limits on Twitter and other social media companies he claims are biased against him, as well as to strip out language that allows for the renaming of military bases such as Fort Benning and Fort Hood that honour Confederate leaders.

Trump also claimed without evidence that the biggest winner from the defence bill would be China.

Trump has vetoed eight other bills, but those were all sustained because supporters did not gain the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber for the bills to become law without Trump's signature.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Trump's declaration that China gained from the defence bill was false.

"From Confederate base names to social media liability provisions ... to imaginary and easily refutable charges about China, it's hard to keep track of President Trump's unprincipled, irrational excuses for vetoing this bipartisan bill," Reed said. (PTI)