In a 30-minute phone call Monday night, Trump told Inhofe (R-Okla.) that he still planned to veto the National Defense Authorization Act because it doesn't bend to his whims — targeting social media companies and maintaining bases named for Confederate soldiers. The Senate Armed Services chair said he explained to Trump the importance of the bill. It delivers pay raises to U.S. troops and is intended to strengthen the national defense.
Perhaps most important, Inhofe is forging ahead without the president: "We have a difference on this," he said Tuesday.
Trump's grip over his party has never been seriously challenged in the Congress, despite four years of hand-wringing over his erratic foreign policy, hard-line tariff regime and scattershot approach to legislation. Trump hasn't had a single veto overridden, with Republicans loath to directly confront such a wildly popular figure among the GOP base, though they have tanked some of his nominees and tried to influence him behind the scenes.