The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: trump veto

McConnell Kills $2000 Checks — And Overrides Trump On Defense Bill

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Moscow Mitch McConnell once again refused to allow $2,000 survival checks to struggling families in a rare New Year's Day session of the Senate. To be precise, he had his minions Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) do the dirty work this time, first blocking Sen. Chuck Schumer's effort to bring up the House bill, then Sen. Bernie Sanders' request to bring both the House bill and the ridiculous McConnell poison bill addressing Trump conspiracy theories. Trump's bluster over the $2,000 survival checks clearly didn't extend to actually doing anything to make it happen, so he lost.

Read Now Show less

GOP Members Drop Support For Troop Raises To Save Confederate Memorials

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sixty-six House Republicans voted to uphold Donald Trump's veto of a must-pass annual defense authorization bill on Monday, despite 25 of them previously voting for the exact same legislation weeks ago.

Despite the defections, more than the required two-thirds of the House voted to override Trump, 322-87.

The annual legislation passed in the House and Senate earlier this month with a bipartisan supermajority in each chamber. Then, 140 House Republicans and 42 GOP senators backed the $731.6 billion legislation to set funding levels and policies for the nation's defense and authorize pay increases for America's armed service members.

Trump ultimately vetoed the bill on Wednesday — at the last possible moment — objecting to provisions that required the renaming of military bases named for Confederate figures and to the fact that Congress did not insert unrelated provisions to punish social media companies he believes unfairly are biased against conservatives.

"My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country," Trump wrote in his veto message. "I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles."

Under the Constitution, if the president vetoes a bill, Congress can override it if both two-thirds of the members of the House and two-thirds of the Senate vote to do so.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted for the original bill, but later made clear that he would put loyalty to Trump over support for the military.

"I don't believe Republicans, in our work with the president always, that you vote to override a veto," the California Republican told reporters before the original vote, though he predicted that he and the rest of his caucus "would stand with the president," and sustain a veto if Trump killed the legislation.

McCarthy skipped Monday's vote.

Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) also voted for the bill initially, but voted with Trump on Monday. In a press statement, he explained that he was doing so because members of the military "bravely defend the rights and freedoms of Americans every day," claiming that "our freedom of speech is also under attack here at home from big tech companies. This has been especially evident in acknowledging voter fraud on social media that is then flagged or censored."

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said he flipped entirely because Trump said to. "I had some reservations with certain provisions in the NDAA; but, as a veteran, I felt responsible to ensure our national defense and military were properly funded, which is why I voted for the NDAA earlier this month," he wrote in a statement. "However, no one has a better pulse on the security of this nation and our military than the President of the United States, and I believe his objections to the bill are reasonable and intended to protect all Americans."

Among the other prominent Republicans who voted for the bill before Trump's veto but later defected were Republican Policy Committee chair Gary Palmer of Alabama, National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer of Minnesota, recent party-switcher Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, and Rep. Devin Nunes of California.

Now, the bill goes to the Senate, where an override vote attempt was planned for Tuesday, although Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to slow the veto override unless the Republicans permit a floor vote on a $2000 pandemic relief payment. If at least two-thirds of the senators follow the House's lead, it will mark the first veto override of Trump's presidency — days before he leaves office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Vetoes Defense Bill, Threatens Covid Relief


President Trump on Wednesday vetoed the annual defense bill, fulfilling his threat to veto legislation that always has broad bipartisan support in Congress. As a result he may suffer the first veto override of his term.

The bill provides three percent pay raises for U.S. troops and authorizes $740 billion in military programs and construction.

While warning of his veto, Trump offered various reasons for rejecting the bill.

First and foremost he has demanded that lawmakers restrict social media companies that he claims are biased against him. He also demanded that Congress strip out language that allows the renaming of military bases such as Fort Benning and Fort Hood that honor Confederate officers. And without explaining why, he has argued that China is the "biggest winner" in the defense bill

In his veto message, Trump cited those arguments and added that the bill "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."

Both the House and Senate passed the defense act by margins more than large enough to override a presidential veto. On prior occasions Trump has vetoed eight bills, with his action sustained because his opponents couldn't muster the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber for a bill to become law without his signature.

Contradicting Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the bill will deter Chinese aggression. Other GOP backers , including Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Senate leader, and Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, have tweeted that the bill will parry threats from China and other potential adversaries.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Trump's declaration that China was the biggest winner in the defense bill was false. Reed also noted the shifting explanations Trump had given for the veto.

"President Trump clearly hasn't read the bill, nor does he understand what's in it," Reed said. "There are several bipartisan provisions in here that get tougher on China than the Trump Administration has ever been."

McConnell (R-KY), in a rare break with Trump, had urged passage 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.