WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump is expected to decide Tuesday whether to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress overwhelmingly passed.
Trump had previously threatened to veto the bill unless lawmakers stripped a provision that would allow the renaming of military bases named after Confederate leaders. He also urged lawmakers to impose limits on social media companies which he claims were biased against him during the presidential election.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, and his Republican colleagues have spent the last 10 days trying to convince Trump not to veto the bill, which would keep the 60-year streak of its approval alive.
“It would be unprecedented, frankly,” Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said.
Reed argued that vetoing the bill is a slap in the face to America’s armed forced.
“It would deny them pay raises and specialty pay that they’ve earned from arduous duty and dangerous duty,” Reed said.
Reed said the $740 billion dollar defense bill includes critical cyber security measures to prevent intrusions like those, reportedly by Russian hackers, recently discovered at a number of federal agencies.
Reed said Trump’s issues with the bill have “nothing to do with national defense.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, urged the president not to veto the bill.
“The Senate has passed its annual bill to support our service member and our national security every year for the last 59 years,” McConnell said.
McConnell promised the Senate would return to work on Dec. 29 for a vote to override the veto, “to ensure the Senate continues fulfilling our obligation to the men and women of our armed forces.”
House lawmakers also vowed to return to Washington following Christmas to respond to any veto from the White House.