Senate bucks Trump, overrides defense bill veto

By Tony Bertuca / January 1, 2021 at 2:30 PM

The Senate has voted 81-13 to override President Trump's veto of the defense authorization bill, thereby joining the House to pass the legislation over his objections, and dealing a sound rebuke to the lame-duck commander-in-chief.

The 4,500-page bill, among numerous other things, authorizes $740.5 billion in defense spending.

The vote marks the first and only time Congress has overridden a Trump veto. The president has vetoed eight other bills, all of which were sustained by Congress because they could not gain the two-thirds majorities needed for an override.

Trump drew wide bipartisan criticism on Dec. 23 when he vetoed the bill, saying he was doing so because it includes a provision to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate leaders and does not repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act used to limit liability of social media companies. Trump also cited provisions in the bill that he said would restrict his ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea.

The House voted 322-87 on Dec. 28 to override the president.

Today’s Senate vote now clears the way for the bill to be signed into law for the 60th consecutive year.

Trump, meanwhile, will officially be out of office when President-elect Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.