President Donald Trump lashed out at Congress in rejecting the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress earlier this month.
“Our $740 defense bill is a gift to China, Russia & Big Tech. It fails to terminate the internationally dangerous Section 230, won’t allow us to bring our troops back home (where they belong), renames & destroys our forts & National Monuments, & makes 5G almost impossible!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Our $740 defense bill is a gift to China, Russia & Big Tech. It fails to terminate the internationally dangerous Section 230, won’t allow us to bring our troops back home (where they belong), renames & destroys our forts & National Monuments, & makes 5G almost impossible! https://t.co/txJle9Ezlg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2020
Trump’s Wednesday veto is likely to be overridden next week when the House and Senate convene, according to CNBC. The 4,517-page bill passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof majorities.
Trump outlined his objections further in a veto message to Congress, which was published on the White House website.
“My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security. Unfortunately, the Act 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,” he said.
“It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia,” Trump added.
Trump noted that he has increased military spending as president.
“No one has worked harder, or approved more money for the military, than I have — over $2 trillion. During my 4 years, with the support of many others, we have almost entirely rebuilt the United States military, which was totally depleted when I took office,” he said.
But Big Tech dodges reforms in the bill that Congress has passed, the president added.
“Your failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step,” he wrote.
“The Act fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision. Section 230 facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It must be repealed.”
Trump objected to efforts to rename defense installations that are named for Confederate leaders.
“Additionally, the Act includes language that would require the renaming of certain military installations. Over the course of United States history, these locations have taken on significance to the American story and those who have helped write it that far transcends their namesakes,” Trump said.
“My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country. From these facilities, we have won two World Wars. I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles.”
Trump further pointed out that the act as passed by Congress impedes America’s ability to respond to emergencies.
“The Act also restricts the President’s ability to preserve our Nation’s security by arbitrarily limiting the amount of military construction funds that can be used to respond to a national emergency,” he said.
“In a time when adversaries have the means to directly attack the homeland, the President must be able to safeguard the American people without having to wait for congressional authorization. The Act also contains an amendment that would slow down the rollout of nationwide 5G, especially in rural areas.”
The bill’s efforts to tie a president’s hands violate the Constitution, Trump added.
“Numerous provisions of the Act directly contradict my Administration’s foreign policy, particularly my efforts to bring our troops home. I oppose endless wars, as does the American public. Over bipartisan objections, however, this Act purports to restrict the President’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea,” he said.
“Not only is this bad policy, but it is unconstitutional. Article II of the Constitution makes the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and vests in him the executive power.
“Therefore, the decision regarding how many troops to deploy and where, including in Afghanistan, Germany, and South Korea, rests with him. The Congress may not arrogate this authority to itself directly or indirectly as purported spending restrictions.”
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