But now at the ebb of his power and in the waning days of his presidency, Trump has met his match in defense hawks and the annual defense bill. It has passed 59 years in a row, and even loyal Trump supporters are looking past his Twitter attacks and plotting a rebellion against a president who often seeks vengeance against those who break with him. And they’re acting like it’s no big deal…
“It’s not about going against the president,” added Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a potential presidential contender. “What he wants is very legitimate. But at the end of the day, when you balance the equities … there are more pluses than minuses.”
Still, 40 House Republicans voted with Trump on Tuesday and a number of GOP senators like Rand Paul of Kentucky, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Braun of Indiana will, too, when the final conference report comes to the Senate. Those who support the bill realize that even as Joe Biden prepares to take office, they are still taking a risk going against Trump. He’s already started urging primary challenges to GOP officials he finds wanting.
“It’s no fun in today’s Republican Party to override the president. I mean, he has a following that is intensely loyal. Some of our Republican constituents are inclined, always, to take the president’s side,” said one Senate Republican granted anonymity to discuss political sensitivities.