Trump rips GOP leaders for allowing veto override
President Trump on Tuesday sharply criticized Republican leaders for allowing a vote to override his veto of a must-pass defense policy bill, calling them “weak” and “tired” and accusing them of a “disgraceful act of cowardice.”
The House on Monday evening voted 322-87 to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), teeing up what may be the first and only veto override of Trump’s presidency.
“Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, apparently referring to GOP Senate leadership.
“Say goodbye to VITAL Section 230 termination, your National Monuments, Forts (names!) and Treasures (inserted by Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren), 5G, and our great soldiers being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us.”
Trump called the veto override’s expected passage “a disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech.”
He demanded lawmakers negotiate a “better bill” and that the Senate not approve the annual defense policy bill until it is “fixed.”
Trump, who vetoed the bill last week, objected to a provision mandating that Confederate-named military bases be renamed. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a frequent target of Trump’s, introduced legislation to rename the bases with Confederate names.
Trump also had demanded that it include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that provides a liability shield to tech companies, but the final bill did not include such a provision.
Trump targeted Republican leaders as the Senate prepared to begin consideration of the veto override on Tuesday. The Senate is likely to vote on the action sometime later this week.
In order for Congress to override Trump’s veto, both the Senate and House need two-thirds of their members to support the override. The NDAA passed the Senate with 84-13 support, but it’s unclear whether and how many Republican senators who supported the bill will decide not to break with Trump and vote against the override once it comes for a vote.
While 66 House Republicans voted against the veto override on Monday, 109 broke with Trump and supported the bill.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) missed the vote after saying he would not vote to override the veto; House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) voted against the override; and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent target of criticism from Trump, supported the override.
Trump’s vitriol comes amid existing tensions between the president and Republicans who have acknowledged Joe Biden as the president-elect and objected to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results. Shortly after his tweets on the NDAA, Trump also expressed anger at Republicans who have not supported his claim of fraud, which have not been backed up by evidence and have repeatedly been tossed out of court.
“Can you imagine if the Republicans stole a Presidential Election from the Democrats — All hell would break out. Republican leadership only wants the path of least resistance. Our leaders (not me, of course!) are pathetic,” Trump wrote in tweets partially marked by Twitter as containing disputed information. “They only know how to lose! P.S. I got MANY Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen Elected. I do believe they forgot!”