It sounds like a stinging setback for incumbent US President Donald Trump. More than two-thirds of parliamentarians in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the defense budget “Despite the president’s objections”, ie the qualified majority necessary to overcome its veto: 212 Democrats but also 109 Republicans.
The result of long negotiations, the budget of 740.5 billion dollars (about 600 billion euros) was adopted in early December by overwhelming majorities by the House, with a Democratic majority, and the Senate, controlled by the Republicans. In particular, it provides for a 3% increase in the salary of defense personnel.
Donald Trump announced on December 23 that he was vetoing it, causing consternation even in his camp. In addition to being, according to him, too favorable to China, the American president notably criticizes the text for opening up the possibility of renaming military bases honoring Confederate generals, who fought in defense of slavery during the Civil War ( 1861-1865). He also justified his opposition by the fact that the text did not include the abolition of a law, known as “Article 230”, protecting the legal status of social networks, which he accuses of being biased against him.
Ninth veto in four years in office
This is the ninth time Donald Trump has vetoed a law in four years in office. Congress has so far never gathered enough votes to override its veto. In the hemicycle, Republican Mac Thornberry, number two on the House Armed Services Committee, urged his camp to override the presidential veto. “It is the same text, not a comma has changed” than the one adopted at “More than 80% by the Chamber twenty days ago”, he pleaded Monday.
No date has yet been set for the vote in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority will also be needed to overcome Donald Trump’s veto. The defense budget was adopted by 84 votes to 13.