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Trump vows to veto defense bill that Congress sent him

The House and the Senate passed the broad policy bill with veto-proof majorities last week.
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President Donald Trump stands in front of Naval Academy cadets during the Army-Navy football game Dec. 12, 2020, in West Point, New York.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to follow through on his threat to veto the annual defense policy bill that passed with veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate last week.

“I will Veto the Defense Bill, which will make China very unhappy. They love it. Must have Section 230 termination, protect our National Monuments and allow for removal of military from far away, and very unappreciative, lands. Thank you!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 335-78 last Tuesday and the Senate passed it 84-13 Friday.

The president has opposed the broad policy bill, demanding it include a repeal of an internet liability law known as Section 230. He also spoke out against provisions in the bill that would strip U.S. military bases of the names of Confederate leaders from the Civil War.

NBC News previously reported that Trump had privately told GOP lawmakers since the Nov. 3 election that he wouldn’t back down from his position during the campaign to veto the defense policy bill if it included language that would rename the military bases.

It’s unclear whether Congress plans to override Trump’s expected veto, and whether Republicans who supported the bill would back the move. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said he would not vote to override a veto.

If the massive $740 billion authorization bill doesn't become law before the 116th Congress adjourns Jan. 3, the next Congress will have to draft and negotiate a new measure.

The bill, which has passed on a bipartisan basis for the last 59 years, guides Pentagon policy and decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.

Frank Thorp V contributed.