House Passes Plan For Larger Stimulus Checks, Overrides President Trump’s Veto

Monday, December 28th 2020, 10:25 pm
By: Alex Cameron

President Trump is a step closer to getting approval to give Americans the larger stimulus checks he wants, but it could be members of his own party in Congress who ultimately keep that from happening.

Members of the House were back Monday for a rare post-Christmas session, bringing down the curtain on a lame duck session with two major votes.

First it was the Democrat-controlled chamber giving its approval to increasing the stimulus checks in the relief package the president just signed from $600 (for an individual) to $2,000, as the president prefers.

The final vote was 275 yeas, 134 nays, and 21 not voting.

Forty-four Republicans joined all but two Democrats in approving the extra cash. Rep. Frank Lucas, (R) OK-3, was one of them.

In a statement, Lucas said, "Joining with President Trump, I'm hopeful the aid the House voted on tonight will further assist Oklahomans during this historic pandemic and economic crisis."

But Republican leaders in the Senate have so far made no commitment to giving the measure any consideration, despite the president's wish. It was the Senate GOP that opposed larger payments during negotiations on the package.

The second significant vote Monday was the House's attempt to overturn President Trump's veto of the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which passed both the House and Senate earlier this month with veto-proof majorities.

For outgoing Congresswoman Kendra Horn, (D) OK-5, Monday’s votes were likely to be the last she casts, and she was glad to help override the President's veto, calling it 'unacceptable.'

"I'm voting to override this veto because it's important for our troops, it's important for our communities, it's important for our national security," said Horn. "And it is a great example of working across the aisle and getting things done for the American people."

With two bases in his district, Congressman Tom Cole, (R) OK-4, also voted to override, saying in a statement, "I am disappointed by the president's decision to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which is vitally important to supporting and strengthening our common defense and ensuring our service members have the resources they need to keep us safe."

The vote was 322-87, easily satisfying the two-thirds majority required to overturn a presidential veto.

Rep. Kevin Hern, (R) OK-1 was among 66 Republicans who voted to sustain the president's veto.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin, (R) OK-2, would have joined him in that effort, but he missed his flight and thus missed the votes, In a video he posted to Twitter, Mullin apologized for missing the important votes and made clear where he stands with regard to the defense bill veto.

"Just letting you know, to make sure everybody understands where I'm at," Rep. Mullin stated, "I stand with President Trump."

Trump vetoed the bill, saying he was unhappy that, among other things, it did not contain a clause eliminating Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act, which he said allows social media companies to censor conservative speech.

It's now up to the Senate to complete the veto override, which would be the first of the Trump presidency. Procedural hurdles mean the earliest that vote could happen is Wednesday.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, (R) Oklahoma, a staunch Trump ally, but also Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which together with the House Armed Services Committee, writes the NDAA, said he will vote to override.