WASHINGTON (WPRI) — President Donald Trump continues to threaten to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, and Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed is upset.
Senate lawmakers have released their annual defense spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Notably missing from the legislation is a provision to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which allows tech companies to moderate content on their platforms while protecting them from legal liabilities.
Trump has pushed for the bill to include a repeal of Section 230 and maintains his threats to veto the NDAA if it doesn’t include reforms for tech companies.
“It would be the first time in 60 years that we were not able to pass the defense bill,” Reed said.
Reed is the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and helped negotiate a bill that’s endorsed by leaders from both parties in the House and Senate.
The senator says the bill is critically important.
“There’s the quality of life for soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, there’s the defense of the nation,” Reed said.
Trump says he’ll veto the bill if it does not repeal a law that protects social media companies from legal liability for content on their sites.
Reed says the president’s veto threat is harmful to our troops and sends the wrong signal to our adversaries.
“It’s not part of the defense bill,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he supports Trump’s urgent efforts to crack down on the big tech companies.
“They want to pick and choose what goes on,” McCarthy said.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says despite the veto threat, “the president will always defend our military and ensure that we get adequate defense funding.”
House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer says he expects both the House and Senate will overwhelmingly approve the bill.