Trump raises China’s concerns as a veto of the defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump offers new justification on Sunday threatening to veto annual defense policy bill covering the military equipment budget and salary increases for members of the service: China. He did not detail his concerns.

Republican lawmakers say the comprehensive defense policy bill sent to the president by the senate on Friday would deter Chinese aggression and should become lawful as soon as possible.

Both the House and the Senate adopted the measure with enough differences to override the potential veto of the president, whose history has failed to carry out the actions he threatened.

“The biggest winner of our new defense bill is China! I’m vetoing! ”Trump in a new tweet.

The White House did not respond immediately to an e-mail request for an opinion that expressed Trump’s particular concerns about China.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. According to the bill will help deter Chinese aggression. Other GOP supporters of the measure, including South Dakota Senate John Thune, a second-time Senate leader and Wisconsin MP Mike Gallagher, a member of the House’s Armed Services Committee, tweeted that the bill would offset the country’s threats. such as China.

A possible override of the veto would be a priority for Trump, and he will leave office soon after, on January 20th. For a bill to become lawful without Trump’s signature, a two-thirds vote is required in each chamber.

The president has made a number of threats on Twitter to veto the bill over the requirement that military bases that honor confederate leaders eventually be renamed. He also vetoed attempts to force lawmakers to include provisions, unrelated to the military and defense, to punish social media companies, claiming they were biased against him during the election.

For nearly 60 years in a row, Congress has passed a bill known as the Defense Licensing Act. The current version confirms a 3% salary increase for U.S. troops and allows for more than $ 740 billion in military programs and construction.

The measure will guide Pentagon policy and cement decisions on troop levels, new weapon systems and military readiness, military personnel policy, and other military objectives. Many programs can only come into effect if the bill is approved, including military construction.

McConnell, on a rare break against Trump, urged the transition despite Trump vetoing it. McConnell said it was important for Congress to continue the series of nearly six decades of passing the defense policy bill.

In addition to the budget and salary increase it provides, McConnell said the bill “will keep our forces ready to deter China and stand strong in the Indian Pacific.”

Gallagher tweeted last week that the United States is at the beginning of a “new Cold War” with China and that the defense bill “is taking important steps to meet these challenges and ultimately win this race”. Thune said in a tweet that the measure will help the U.S. protect itself from threats from China and Russia. “It’s important that this bill be an ASAP law,” he said.

Trump tweeted last Tuesday to veto the “very weak” defense bill unless it repeals Article 230, the part of the communications code that protects Twitter, Facebook and other technology giants from content liability. The White House stated in a political statement that “section 230 facilitates the online spread of disinformation and poses a serious threat to our national security and electoral integrity. This should be repealed.


Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.