Trump Vetoes NDAA, Declares Provisions against Withdrawing Troops Unconstitutional
Dec. 24, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump vetoed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act yesterday, setting up override votes in both the House and Senate. Among the provisions that Trump objected to were those restricting the President’s ability to draw down U.S. troops in other countries. “Numerous provisions of the Act directly contradict my Administration’s foreign policy, particularly my efforts to bring our troops home,” Trump said in his veto message.
“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. 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.”
Trump also claimed, among other things, that the bill doesn’t hit China and Russia hard enough. He said that “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. It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”
Trump particularly targeted the failure to include reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which he called a “very dangerous national security risk,” saying it “facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity.” Trump also objected to including the renaming of bases named after Confederate generals, and limits on the use of military construction funds for responding to national emergencies, referring to funds used to build the wall on the Mexican border.
Leaders of the House and Senate both expect to easily override Trump’s veto as the bill passed in both chambers with large bipartisan majorities. The House has set Dec. 28 for its override vote while the Senate will be back on Dec. 29.