After yielding to pressure and signing an economic stimulus package, estimated at $ 900 billion, to counter the repercussions of the epidemic crisis, Donald Trump may face another embarrassment this week, in his final days in office, as Congress prepares to override the veto that he placed on the defense law.
A majority of two-thirds of the votes in the House of Representatives, which includes 435 members and the Senate (100 members), are needed to overturn the veto imposed by Trump, in an event that will be the first of its kind during his term.
The House of Representatives, where the Democrats control, and the Senate where the majority are Republicans, approved the defense budget this month, worth 740.5 billion dollars, and approved the budget by 335 votes to 78 in the House of Representatives, and 84 to 13 in the Senate.
But Trump rejected the National Defense Act, because it did not repeal Article 230, which provides protection for Internet companies, and because he sought to strip many US military bases of the names of generals who fought for the South, which was in favor of slavery during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
The House of Representatives is due to vote to repeal Trump’s veto at a later time, amid Democrats’ optimism that they have enough Republican support to do so. The Senate will consider the matter on Tuesday.
Trump had threatened for days not to sign the economic stimulus plan in the face of the repercussions of the epidemic crisis, even though the Treasury Secretary in his administration participated in drafting it and won broad bipartisan support in Congress.
Two federal unemployment benefits programs approved in March, as part of an initial relief plan to address the repercussions of the crisis, expired at midnight Saturday, which cut aid to about 12 million Americans, according to estimates.
Trump’s threat would have led to a government shutdown starting Tuesday, depriving millions of Americans of economic benefits. Trump eventually backed down and signed the law on Sunday evening at his private club in Florida, away from television cameras.
“Stop the madness”
What happened highlighted the extent of the decline in Republican support for Trump, which continues through Twitter in addressing the presidential elections, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
In a sign of his declining influence, the New York Post owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of Trump’s most prominent supporters, published an editorial Sunday asking him to “stop the madness” and admit to losing the election.
The newspaper said: “Mr. President, the time has come to end this black comedy. We understand, Mr. President, that you are angry because you lost, but continuing on this path is devastating, if you insist on spending your last days in office threatening to burn everything, then this will be mentioned.”
And on Monday morning, uncharacteristically, Trump’s page was without new posts when he left his Mar-a-Lago resort for another round of golf, at the Trump International Golf Club.