Congress overrides Donald Trump’s defense budget veto


After the House of Representatives, the Senate also voted for the new defense budget and thus against Donald Trump. Many Republicans opposed their president.

For the first time during Donald Trump’s tenure, the US Congress overturned a presidential veto. After the House of Representatives, the Senate also overruled Trump’s veto on the US defense budget package on Friday with the necessary two-thirds majority. The massive legislative package can now come into force despite the lack of a signature from Trump.

The president had opposed the draft law, among other things, because of a dispute over the regulation of online platforms and a possible renaming of military bases. Now, shortly before the end of his term in office on January 20, he suffered a severe defeat in Congress, where large numbers of his Republicans opposed him on this issue. 81 senators voted for the legislative package (13 against) – and successfully overturned Trump’s veto. The two-thirds majority in the chamber was comfortably exceeded.

Defense budget also important for Germany

The legislative package on the defense budget comprises more than 4,500 pages and provides for a budget of around 740 billion dollars (611 billion euros). Because it is politically unthinkable that the military budget does not come about, the package in the USA usually includes numerous regulations that are not directly related to the financing of the armed forces. The defense budget was passed with bipartisan support for 59 years in a row – this year too.

The Democrats and Republicans have stipulated that the massive withdrawal of US soldiers from Germany planned by Trump will be blocked for the time being. The text of the law states that the US Secretary of Defense must state in a report to Congress whether such a withdrawal would be in the national interest of the US. At the earliest 120 days later, the number of US soldiers stationed in the Federal Republic may fall below the limit of 34,500. The law also provides that threatened sanctions against the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 will be expanded.

Trump wanted to regulate online platforms more closely

Trump had vetoed the Congress decision. In support of this, he stated in a letter to the House of Representatives that the law was contrary to his government’s foreign policy and national security.

Among other things, the President criticized the fact that online platforms were not being more strictly regulated. He had wanted Congress to change what is known as Section 230, which protects online platforms from being held responsible for content published by their users. Trump called the ruling “a serious threat to the national security and integrity of the elections”. Critics, in turn, accuse Trump of only wanting revenge on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, the renaming of several military bases, which was promoted after protests against racism, is a thorn in the side of Trump.

Trump has already vetoed eight times

Trump considers it unconstitutional that the withdrawal of soldiers from Afghanistan, South Korea and Germany ordered by him should now be limited by law. According to the constitution, the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, he said. The decision as to how many soldiers should be deployed where is therefore his.

In his almost four-year term in office, Trump had previously vetoed legislative plans from Congress eight times. However, in none of these cases had the necessary two-thirds majority been achieved in the parliamentary chambers to override his veto. The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives and the Republicans in the Senate.

Trump lost the presidential election on November 3rd against the Democrat Joe Biden. Trump refuses to admit defeat. Biden is to be sworn in on January 20th. Until then, Trump is still in office with all rights.

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