President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed the annual defense policy bill and raised the prospect that the U.S. could face a government shutdown during a pandemic, stirring new turmoil in Washington as he headed to Florida for Christmas.
Angry at his fellow Republicans in Congress, Trump sought to refashion two complex pieces of legislation that passed Congress by wide, bipartisan margins after months of negotiation.
The bill affirms 3% pay raises for the U.S. troops and authorizes more than $740 billion in military programs and construction.
Trump followed through on a threat to veto the defense bill and demanded dramatic changes to a $2.3 trillion package that funds the federal government and provides nearly $900 billion in coronavirus aid.
With less than a month left in office, Trump is angry that some Republicans have acknowledged his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump said he vetoed the defense policy bill, which has passed every year since 1961 because he objected to liability protections for social media companies unrelated to national security and did not want to rename military bases that are currently named for generals who fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the Civil War.
Democrats and Republicans objected to Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.“I look forward to overriding the president’s fruitless and ridiculous attempt to undermine our national security,” Democratic Senator Mark Warner said in a statement.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, a Republican, also blasted Trump’s veto.