Congress Plans Post-Christmas Session to Try to Override Trump Veto
President Trump has announced that he will veto the US $ 741 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress passed with a veto-proof majority earlier this month.
The bill, which has been passed every year for the past 59 years, defines the spending and main guidelines for the Department of Defense. Trump has criticized this year's version on numerous counts, including the failure to lift legal protections for tech firms and calling for the names of Confederate leaders to be removed from military bases.
Politico's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman reported Tuesday that the president is showing no signs that he has changed his mind. "Aides and congressional allies have made it clear to Trump that his veto is likely to be overridden and have tried to get him to withdraw, but he does not seem at all moved by their appeals," they wrote.
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In response, Congress has made plans to meet again between Christmas and New Years. If Trump complies with the threat - which he must do by December 23 - the House will return to Washington for a December 28 meeting to lift the veto. While the scope for an override seems safe, there is some uncertainty as some Republicans who first voted for the bill said they would not vote to override a Trump veto.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Tuesday that while the Senate hopes the president does not veto the law, it will meet on December 29 to "repeal the House" process ”if he should do so.
According to The Hill's Jordain Carney, the Senate could face a January 3 lunch break to complete the override. Trump supporters could try to delay the process by calling for a cloture vote from 60 senators. Majority Whip Senator John Thune (R-SD) said the process could take a few days. "It's going to be more than a day if we object, and I think we probably will. So the question is if the house, if they overwrite it, then ... we have to set it up, and it can take a few days to do that, "said Thune.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said he will try to slow the process down, in part due to a provision restricting the president's ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. "I am very much against the Afghan war and told them that I would come back to prevent them from easily overriding the presidential veto," Paul said on Monday.
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