President Donald Trump’s veto of the defense funding bill drew a strong rebuke from Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
“The President’s eleventh hour veto of one of the most widely supported bills in Congress shows how little regard he has for our troops, for Congress, and for the work it takes to govern our great nation,” said Sherril in a press statement Dec. 23. “I look forward to voting to override this veto.”
At issue is the surprising veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by President Trump just before he left the White House for Florida to celebrate Christmas. In his announcement, the President stated the $740 billion 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.”
After the bill had passed Congress, President Trump voiced his disapproval due to the legislation including a provision requiring Confederate-named military bases be renamed within three years. The President amplified that point in his veto, stating the mandated changes to bases amounted to a politically motivated attempt “to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles.”
Additionally, the President previously voiced his objection to the NDAA because it did not include a provision repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that provides a legal shield to tech companies like Twitter and Facebook Trump believes were biased towards him in the lead up to his losing re-election bid.
Rep. Sherrill pointed out the veto comes after the NDAA passed unanimously through the House Armed Services Committee and with wide majorities in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as it addressed such pressing issues as the coronavirus and upgrades needed in the military.
Military Raises at Stake
“It provides pay raises for troops, improves healthcare for women service members and military families, removes Confederate base names, and strengthens the Defense Department’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the former Navy helicopter pilot. “It supports our military’s innovation and modernization, makes our fighting force more effective, and provides crucial reassurances to our allies.”
Making the veto more puzzling from Rep. Sherrill’s viewpoint is that the NDAA was the product of bipartisan negotiations that received input from President Trump’s administration as well as the Pentagon. The House of Representatives secured final passage of the NDAA on Dec. 8 and the congresswoman predicts it will happen again.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate, who have already given the NDAA their support twice, to do the same,” said the congresswoman.