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Trump threatens again to veto defense policy bill as House plans to vote

Posted at 8:17 AM, Dec 08, 2020

President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeated his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act if Congress does not change it the way he wants; including adding language that would change Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that deals with social media companies, a reduction in troop levels around the world, and the president wants language calling for the renaming of some military bases removed.

In a tweet, the president said “I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO. Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!”

The House of Representatives votes on the NDAA Tuesday, then it goes to the Senate.

The president threatened to veto the defense policy bill last week, also in a tweet, and called on Congress to include the termination of Section 230 in the bill.

Section 230 protects companies that host messages from being sued by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else posted on the site.

The president has challenged Section 230 during his presidency and railed against social media companies. In October he signed anexecutive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.

The bill does not include language about Section 230 at this time, and it still contains language calling on military leaders to rename bases that are named after Confederate soldiers.

Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will take up and pass the defense bill despite the looming veto threat from the president.

Both the Senate and House passed their initial defense policy bills with a veto-proof majority, according to The Hill. Democrats in the House say they have enough votes to override a presidential veto, while Republicans in the Senate say they hope the vote margin is large enough that Trump changes his mind, The Hill reports.

The NDAA is an annual defense policy measure that usually passes on a bipartisan basis and helps guide Pentagon policy regarding troop levels, new weapons systems, military readiness, and other military priorities.