Rep. Don Young joins Democrats to nix Trump’s veto of defense bill

Rep. Don Young in his Washington, D.C. office. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

The U.S. House has voted to override President Trump’s veto of the annual defense bill. Alaska’s lone House member Don Young voted with Democrats on the override.

“Mr. Speaker, as the member designated by Mr. Young of Alaska …. I inform the House that Mr. Young will vote yes on passing H.R. 6395 over the objection of the president,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., delivering Young’s vote by proxy.

The final tally was overwhelming: 322-87. Scores of House members voted by proxy.

The Senate is likely to override as well, turning the bill into law. If so, it will be the first time Congress has overridden a Trump veto. Both of Alaska’s senators have said they will vote to override.

The annual defense bill is considered must-pass legislation to keep military programs going. It has a pay raise for the troops and allows the purchase of new equipment, including six polar icebreakers.

Trump wanted the bill to allow more lawsuits against social media companies. And he objected to a provision telling the Pentagon to rename military installations that commemorate Confederate generals.

Democrats in the House also voted today to give most Americans $2,000 in COVID relief — the amount President Trump preferred, compared to the $600 Congress passed in a bill before Christmas. Trump called that bill a disgrace but reluctantly signed it Sunday night.

Young was not among the 44 Republicans who voted for the larger checks. He did not vote on the measure at all.

“The congressman sincerely appreciates the president’s desire to maximize direct aid to Americans, but also recognizes that this vote was simply political theater and that the bill will likely die in the Senate,” said Young spokesman Zack Brown.

Young said in June that he opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rule allowing absentee voting on the House floor. He called it “a flagrantly unconstitutional proxy voting scheme.”

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media is our partner station in Anchorage. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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