It’s hard to get Congress to agree on much of anything, but we urge lawmakers to work in a bipartisan manner and override President Trump’s veto of the defense policy act.
This issue is of more-than-usual interest locally because of Vance Air Force Base and the number of active-duty and retired military readers in our area.
Even with all of the partisanship in the nation’s capital, Congress and the president have a 60-year track record of passing an annual defense policy bill that makes important updates in wages and working conditions for the nation’s armed forces. It also updates a variety of parameters for the Department of Defense. The defense policy bill received broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate — no small feat these days.
President Trump cited three reasons for his veto.
First, Trump wants strong limits placed on social media, and he wants that as part of the defense policy act. Congressional review of social media monopolies, or near-monopolies, would be appropriate. Some limits might be reasonable. Congressional review of social media policies clamping down on widespread distribution of misinformation would be expected, too. But, the social media concerns are completely separate from the annual defense policy bill. Plus, the social media issues are complex and warrant a thoughtful review, not a knee-jerk reaction.
Second, the president claimed, without explanation, that the defense policy bill was a big win for China. Huh? Based on the bill’s contents, that seems illogical.
Finally, Trump objected to renaming military bases now named after Confederate military leaders.
Frankly, the nation is very divided on the renaming issue, but with a strong majority in both the House and Senate agreeing to the renaming and part of a nationwide effort toward racial reconciliation, Trump’s position is not a veto-worthy stance.