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Angus King: Trump's Threatened Veto Would Undermine Efforts To Defend Against Hackers

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says the defense bill that President Donald Trump has threatened to veto contains cybersecurity provisions aimed at combating the hacking of government agencies.

The president is threatening the veto over a provision in the bill unrelated to defense that deals with the way social media companies are treated under federal communications law. King, who co-chaired the Cyber Security Commission, says the bill also contains recommendations for bolstering defenses against hackers.

"Twenty-six of our recommendations are in the defense bill that is sitting right on the president’s desk. So Congress has responded and I really hope the president will sign this bill," he says.

Trump has until midnight Wednesday to veto or sign the bill. A veto would then require Congress to come back into session after Christmas to act on the measure, or it dies when the new Congress is sworn in the first week of January.

“I think we can override, but if we didn’t, all the work would have gone for naught. We would have to start all over again next year in a new Congress and in the meantime we remain exposed to the kind of attack we are experiencing right now,” King says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.