Trump to return to Washington on Thursday, ahead of schedule

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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are returning early to Washington Thursday morning from Florida, the White House announced unexpectedly last night. A senior Trump adviser told CBS News that the president had initially planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago, his private golf club in Palm Beach, and come back to Washington on January 1. The White House has not said publicly why the president is returning early.

The Senate is expected to vote to override Mr. Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, after the House voted to do so on Monday. If successful, this will be the first — and last — time Congress overturned Mr. Trump’s veto, the ninth of his presidency. 

The NDAA, which has broad bipartisan support, is a critical defense spending bill which Congress votes on annually and which has been approved each year for several decades. Mr. Trump vetoed the bill on December 23, complaining about the inclusion of a provision to create a commission to rename military bases honoring Confederate officials, and arguing that the bill should include a section on repealing Section 230, a social media liability shield.

The Senate needs 60 votes on Friday to end debate and set up a final vote requiring two-thirds of senators to vote to override the veto. Since the NDAA passed in the Senate earlier this month with 84-13 votes, it is also likely to clear this hurdle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also rebuffed a push for the Senate to take up a bill increasing coronavirus relief checks to Americans from $600 to $2,000, a measure supported by Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump’s return to Washington on Thursday comes just under a week before Congress will be convening to count each state’s electoral votes and reaffirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. GOP Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday became the sole senator to commit to challenging the electoral votes when lawmakers meet on January 6, joining several Republican House members who have vowed to do so.

“JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Wednesday evening. There are expected to be demonstrations in support of Mr. Trump on January 6.

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