US President Donald Trump vetoes $740bn annual defence bill

24 December 2020 (Last Updated December 24th, 2020 10:23)

US President Donald Trump has vetoed an annual $740bn defence spending bill citing that the budget fails to include critical national security measures.

US President Donald Trump has vetoed an annual $740bn defence spending bill citing that the budget fails to include critical national security measures.

The move comes just weeks before he leaves the White House on 20 January, when the President-elect Joe Biden is set to take oath as the new president.

The outgoing US President returned the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 without approval after it was passed by both the houses of the Congress.

In a statement to the House of Representatives, President Trump said: “My Administration recognises the importance of the Act to our national security.

“Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions.  It is a ‘gift’ to China and Russia.”

According to the White House, the act fails to revise the Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which, as it said, facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online compromising national security and election integrity.

Additionally, President Trump opposed the renaming of certain military installations, as mentioned in the act.

Notably, the bill was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives with more than two-thirds majorities, which, in theory, is required to override a president’s veto.

Particularly, the NDAA specifies the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defense. It has been passed every year since 1961.

Last month, Trump fired the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper just days after losing the presidential election.