UPDATED 4:05 PM PT – Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Republicans to support the National Defense Authorization Act despite President Trump’s veto last week.
In a speech on the floor of the upper chamber Tuesday, McConnell noted that while the bill does not contain every provision Republicans would have wanted, it must pass.
“For the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, failure is simply not an option,” McConnell noted. “So when it’s our turn in Congress to have their backs, failure is not an option either [and] I would urge my colleagues to support this legislation one more time when we vote tomorrow.”
The House already voted to override the President’s veto earlier this week, with the Senate expected to follow suit on Wednesday. However, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) said he planned to filibuster the upper chamber’s vote on the NDAA until the Senate votes on increasing stimulus checks to from $600 to $2000.
In the meantime, President Trump responded to the House’s override on Twitter Tuesday. He slammed the vote as an act of cowardice, adding the Senate should not pass the bill until it is fixed.
….being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us. A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2020
However, some Republicans are still standing with the President’s opposition of the NDAA. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) doubled down on his calls to uphold President Trump’s veto of the $740 billion bill.
Today, I voted to defend President @realDonaldTrump‘s veto of the NDAA because it serves foreign interests, not American interests.
President Trump has always been a staunch advocate of our troops, and sadly, this bill does not prioritize them or our nation’s future. pic.twitter.com/8M2Ukk3ATn
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 28, 2020
Both the President and Biggs argue the bill includes unnecessary spending, such as millions towards early childhood development and gender equity education abroad. Biggs was also critical of the legislation’s requirement that small businesses register with the federal government. However, he argues this is not even the worst part of the bill.
“It’s a crying shame,” Rep. Biggs said. “Because the most egregious portion of this [bill] is to limit the authority given to the Commander in Chief within the Constitution to move and deploy troops.”
President Trump continues to call for a repeal of Section 230 in the NDAA, which adds to the number of things he has determined to be wrong with the spending bill.