Congress overrides Trump’s veto for the first time on major military bill
The Senate joined the House to make the legislation law without provisions Trump demanded to change internet liability laws.
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One with first lady Melania Trump at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida on Dec. 31, 2020.Tom Brenner / ReutersJan. 1, 2021, 8:34 PM CET / Updated Jan. 1, 2021, 9:05 PM CETBy Sahil Kapur and Dareh Gregorian
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday joined the House to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a sweeping military policy bill, delivering the first such blow to Trump just weeks before he leaves office.
The Senate voted 81 to 13 to approve the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act, achieving the two-thirds majority required to defeat the veto. The House overrode the veto on Monday by a vote of 322-87. As a result, the legislation will become law.
Trump vetoed the measure on Dec. 23 after lawmakers refused to include his request to add a provision repealing an internet liability law known as Section 230 that protects social media companies. The previous eight vetoes issued by Trump had been allowed to stand.
The votes came after attempts by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to force a vote on Trump’s call for $2,000 checks to Americans were rejected.
The NDAA is typically a bipartisan exercise that passes Congress with little drama. This year was different due to Trump’s demand, which leaders of his party dismissed as irrelevant to a bill that structures the Pentagon. Both chambers originally passed the legislation with sweeping bipartisan support.
The process of overriding the veto took days in the Senate after Sanders led an objection to a speedy vote unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would allow a vote on the CASH Act to raise stimulus payments to $2,000.
Schumer, the minority leader, attempted to pass the House bill raising the stimulus payments by unanimous consent on Friday, but Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., objected. Sanders and Hawley tried again later in the day, offering to also vote on an alternate version offered by McConnell that combined the $2,000 checks with Section 230 reform and legislation to review the 2020 election, but that was blocked as well.
Trump, who’d repeatedly called for increasing the payments to $2,000, had been largely silent at the issue as Democrats and Hawley tried to get the measure passed this week.