Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto of Defense Bill, Dealing a Legislative Blow
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday voted overwhelmingly to override President Trump’s veto of the annual military policy bill, mustering bipartisan support to enact the legislation over the president’s objections and delivering him the first such legislative rebuke of his presidency.
The 81-to-13 vote, the last vote expected in this Congress, is the first time lawmakers have overridden one of Mr. Trump’s vetoes. It reflected the sweeping popularity of a measure that authorizes a pay raise for the nation’s military and amounted to an extraordinary reprimand delivered to Mr. Trump in the final weeks of his presidency.
The margin surpassed the two-thirds majority needed to force enactment of the bill over Mr. Trump’s objections. The House passed the legislation on Monday, also mustering the two-thirds majority required.
Mr. Trump, making good on a monthslong series of threats, vetoed the bipartisan legislation last week, citing a shifting list of reasons including his objection to a provision directing the military to strip the names of Confederate leaders from bases. He also demanded that the bill include the repeal of a legal shield for social media companies that he has tangled with, a significant legislative change that Republicans and Democrats alike have said is irrelevant to legislation that dictates military policy.
Those objections infuriated lawmakers, who had labored for months to put together a bipartisan bill. They had prided themselves on passing the military bill each year for 60 years, and lawmakers in Mr. Trump’s own party ultimately moved to mow over his concerns and advance the legislation.
The last time Congress overrode a presidential veto was in 2016, the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, after he vetoed legislation allowing families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
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