TRUMP VETOES DEFENSE BILL, THREATENS GOV’T SHUTDOWN
US President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan defense policy bill on Wednesday and raised the prospect that the United States could face a government shutdown during a pandemic, stirring new turmoil in Washington as he headed to Florida for Christmas, Andy Sullivan and Steve Holland reported for Reuters late of December 24, 2020.
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.
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.
If Trump blocks the spending package, large parts of the US government could start to shut down next week for lack of funds at a time when officials are distributing two coronavirus vaccines and working to respond to a massive hacking attack.
With less than a month left in office, Trump is angry that some Republicans have acknowledged his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election.
Biden will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
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.