Sunday December 27, 2020
Troop withdrawal from Germany?
US Congress wants to overrule Trump’s veto
Both parties in Congress are behind the defense budget. But Trump wants to prevent the legislative package, the US President calls it a “gift” for China and Russia. One of the things that annoys him is that this is blocking the withdrawal of troops from Germany.
After his veto of the defense budget, Donald Trump has to expect to be overruled by both parties in Congress for the first time shortly before the end of his presidency. The House of Representatives should vote again this Monday on the budget of 740 billion dollars (around 610 billion euros). The MPs could override Trump’s veto with a two-thirds majority. The Senate apparently wants to deal with it on Tuesday.
With the package of laws, among other things, the US troop withdrawal from Germany is to be blocked for the time being. The military budget was originally decided by both chambers with more than a two-thirds majority. If that happens again this week, it would be the first time Congress has overruled a Trump veto.
“Gift” for China and Russia?
Trump claimed on Twitter over the weekend that the legislative package was a “gift” for China and Russia and also made it impossible to “bring home” US soldiers abroad. To justify his veto, he declared on Wednesday, among other things, that parliament wanted to block the troop withdrawal from Germany that he had ordered. He also criticized the fact that online platforms would not be more strictly regulated with the law. He also spoke out against the planned renaming of several military bases, which are still named after heroes of the former Confederate. Southern troops fought for slavery in the American Civil War.
Resistance arose immediately in Congress – and that in both parties. The chairman of the House of Representatives, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi, accused Trump of wanting to plunge the country into “chaos” in the last legs of his term of office. The veto is an act of “breathtaking irresponsibility” that denies the military much-needed funds, Pelosi said. Republican Senate Defense Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe said the legislative package was “absolutely vital to our military and national security.”
Trump had already announced his rejection of the 4,500-page legislative package. It was the eighth veto in his four-year term in office. On Tuesday, Trump had then surprisingly indicated that he might also want to block a corona stimulus package supported by both parties. The defense budget, in turn, was passed with bipartisan support for 59 consecutive years. Because the failure of the military budget to come about is politically unthinkable, the legislative package, as usual, also deals with numerous regulations that actually have nothing to do with the financing of the armed forces but can be enforced.
Rache an Twitter
Trump, for example, wanted Congress to change what is known as Section 230, which protects online platforms from being liable for content published by their users. Trump calls the scheme “a serious threat to national security”. Critics accuse Trump of wanting to take revenge on Twitter and Facebook because they repeatedly warned him about the alleged fraud in the presidential election.
The legislative package provides, among other things, that the massive withdrawal of American soldiers from Germany planned by Trump will be blocked for the time being. There it says 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 legislative package also provides for threatened sanctions against the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 to be expanded.
Republican Trump lost the presidential election on November 3rd to 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 as president.