President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the annual defense spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act if it does not include a repeal of a controversial provision in the Communications Decency Act.
His ultimatum appears to have largely fallen on deaf ears, however, including among allies like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who revealed on Monday that his chamber would take up an pass a version of the NDAA that excluded any language pertaining to Section 230.
“Expect to receive and pass”
Trump has long complained about Section 230’s protections against liability for Big Tech firms and social media platforms in connection to content posted by users.
During a discussion this week on the Senate floor regarding a list of items the chamber intended to address by the end of the year, McConnell referenced the final conference report on the NDAA.
“We also expect to receive and pass a conference report on the annual defense authorization,” he said.
That bipartisan agreement combines the defense spending bills created by the House and Senate, both of which initially passed their respective chambers with veto-proof majority support.
McConnell’s apparent snub to Trump’s recent Twitter threat came in the form of support for a bill without any reference to repealing Section 230.
“We should override it”
The president took notice, responding with a tweet on Tuesday, writing: “I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO. Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!”
CBS News reported that Trump has also taken issue with the inclusion of a provision within the NDAA that would strip the names of Confederate generals from military bases and facilities.
While some Senate Republicans have reportedly been circumspect about whether they would vote to override a presidential veto, a number of GOP leaders had no qualms in expressing their intent to disregard Trump’s complaints.
“We ought to pass the NDAA and the president should not veto it,” declared Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). “And we should override it.”
Likewise, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, insisted: “We would be rightly and fairly criticized when we can’t come back to deal with military pay.”