Congress Overrides Trump’s Veto For First Time On Military Bill

Congress delivers blow to Trump as he prepares to depart office in just 19 days.

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Friday joined the House to override President Donald Trump’s veto on a military policy bill, delivering the first big blow to Mr. Trump as he prepares to depart office in just 19 days.

The Senate approved the Defense Authorization Act with an 81 to 13 vote, getting the two-thirds majority required to overturn the veto. The House overrode the veto on Monday with a 322-87 vote and with the Senate doing the same, the bill will now become law.

Mr. Trump vetoed the bill just two days before Christmas after becoming upset it did not include repealing a law known as Section 230 that protects social media companies.

Republicans Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Josh Hawley of Missouri all voted against the override while Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voted no as well.

Republicans Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are both in a tight run-off race in Georgia next week did not vote on the matter. Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama also did not vote.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and a Democratic senator from California voted in favor of the override.

“For 60 years in a row, the NDAA has provided necessary support for our troops and national security,” Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said in a statement. “Today’s vote sent a clear message that Congress will not allow President Trump to stand in the way of that support, and I’m relieved the critical bipartisan priorities we fought for will become law.”

Mr. Trump tweeted his disapproval over the move, calling the Republican Senate “weak” and the decision to not add a Section 230 provision “Pathetic!!”

The bill includes pay raises for America’s soldiers and modernizations for equipment. Also included in bill is a limit on how much money Mr. Trump can move around for his border wall and to require the military to rename bases that were named after figures from the Confederacy.

Mr. Trump has previously said he refuses to rename the bases that have the names of Confederate military commanders.

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