The United States Senate, with a republican majority, this Friday annulled the veto of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, to the law of the annual defense budget, valued at 741,000 million dollars.
The vote in the full Senate marked the first time that the US Congress has overruled a Trump veto during the nearly four years he has been in power, after the Lower House also voted in favor of that initiative on Monday.
With 81 votes in favor and 12 against, the Senate comfortably exceeded the two-thirds majority it needed to override Trump’s veto and sign the defense budget into law.
The veto comes in the last days of the Trump presidency and promises to raise tension between the outgoing president and his party leaders in the Senate, with whom he has already faced because most have already recognized Joe Biden as president-elect. , something that he does not accept.
An unprecedented veto in decades
Last week, Trump became the first president in 59 years to oppose passing the defense budget.
The president decided to veto the so-called National Defense Authorization Law for fiscal year 2021 because, among other things, restricts their ability to withdraw US troops from Germany, South Korea and Afghanistan, as he had previously promised.
In addition, the ruler opposed the law because it includes a provision to change the name of a dozen military bases named after the leaders of the Southern Confederacy in the Civil War (1861-1865), which are considered a racist symbol for represent those who defended slavery.
The president, finally, wanted the legislation to include a clause to end the call “Section 230”, which protects internet giants like Twitter and Facebook from any legal consequences for what third parties publish on their websites.
The National Defense Authorization Act is used to fund Pentagon operations abroad and includes salary increases for soldiers, funds for new military equipment and to pay for health care for troops.
Attempt to increase payments to citizens fails
Tension between Trump and Republican leaders in the Senate has also increased as a result of the president’s five-day delay in signing a new stimulus plan for the pandemic, and his demand that direct payments to be increased from $ 600 to $ 2,000. citizens included in that law.
Republican leaders in the Senate blocked this Friday for the fourth consecutive day the attempt by Democrats to increase the amount of those direct transfers to taxpayers with an annual income of less than $ 75,000.
That means that the initiative, which the Lower House already approved last Monday, will not go ahead for now, and in any case it would have to be considered and voted on again as of Sunday, when a new Congress arising from the November elections will take office .
“(To approve that change) would be socialism for rich people”, said this Friday the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, in a speech in the plenary session of the Senate.
Americans who meet the rental conditions will instead receive a one-time payment of $ 600, as contemplated in the stimulus plan approved in December.