Congress overrides Trump for the first time in four years with veto of defence policy bill

Author
CNN,
Publish Date
Sat, 2 Jan 2021, 10:13AM
Donald Trump. (Photo / AP)
Donald Trump. (Photo / AP)

Congress overrides Trump for the first time in four years with veto of defence policy bill

Author
CNN,
Publish Date
Sat, 2 Jan 2021, 10:13AM

The Senate has voted to override President Donald Trump's veto of the sweeping defence bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act, delivering a bipartisan rebuke to the President in his final days in office.

Trump's veto forced Republicans to decide whether to defy the President in support of legislation that sets defence policy for the country. The legislation, however, originally passed both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities and the House voted on Monday to override the veto. The final vote was 81-13, far above the two-thirds majority needed.

Trump had threatened to veto the defence bill, which includes pay raises for America's soldiers and modernizations for equipment, because it doesn't include a repeal of Section 230, a law that shields internet companies from being liable for what is posted on their websites by them or third parties.

The bill also includes provisions to limit how much money Trump can move around for his border wall and to require the military to rename bases that were named after figures from the Confederacy.

Trump has said that he opposes any effort by the US military to rename the nearly one dozen major bases and installations that bear the names of Confederate military commanders -- and he raised that issue in his veto message in addition to his complaints over Section 230.

"I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonour the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles," the message stated.

A standoff in the Senate over stimulus checks led to a drawn-out timeline for the final override vote after independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont indicated Monday night that he would delay a quick vote unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, brought a vote on $2,000 stimulus checks to the floor. That vote never took place and the Senate voted Friday afternoon to end debate on the veto override.

text by Clare Foran, Ted Barrett and Ali Zaslav, CNN