On Friday, the Senate voted to override President Trump‘s veto of the $741 billion annual defense bill.
In a rare bipartisan rebuke to the President, Senators voted 81-13 to enact the National Defense Authorization Act, well above the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the presidential veto. The bill initially passed both the House and the Senate with veto-proof margins despite veto threats from Trump.
The President attempted to thwart the passing of the legislation at the last minute by demanding it include a provision to terminate Section 230, a law that shields internet companies from being liable for what is posted on their websites by them or third parties. This was largely seen as his response to Twitter for flagging the majority of his tweets since election day for misinformation.
Trump also opposes language in the bill that requires the military to rename bases that were named after Confederate leaders. “I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles,” Trump stated.
Trump vetoed the legislation last week after the bill passed without the changes he was seeking. Republicans could have upheld the President’s veto if enough GOP senators had switched their votes to side with Trump. But no one changed their vote from when the bill was originally passed three weeks ago.
Congressional leaders praised the passage of the legislation .”For 60 years in a row, the NDAA has provided necessary support for our troops and national security,” Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee, 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,” he added.
“The full United States Congress, with these sweeping and overwhelmingly bipartisan votes, has delivered a resounding rebuke to President Trump’s reckless assault on America’s military and national security,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a seperate statement.
The override of his veto is just the latest embarrassment the President has faced in his last days in office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also declined to allow a vote on $2,000 direct payments to be sent to Americans despite President Trump’s insistance.