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Senate votes to override Trump's defense bill veto

By Jean Lotus
Senate votes to override Trump's defense bill veto
The U.S. Senate voted 81 to 13. Friday to overturn President Trump's veto of a $740 billion defense spending plan, joining the House of Representatives in overturning a presidential veto for the first time in Trump's four-year term. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate, in a special session New Year's Day, voted to override President Donald Trump's veto of the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act 81 to 13, exceeding the required two-thirds majority.

The Senate vote, along with a 322-to-87 vote Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives, is the first time during Trump's tenure that the U.S. Congress has overturned one of his vetoes. Trump successfully vetoed eight other bills passed by both houses of Congress during his four years in office.

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Six senators didn't vote at all including Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Ben Sasse, R-Neb. and Georgia incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, along with Democrat Doug Jones from Alabama.

The 13 who voted to maintain Trump's veto included Trump's most loyalist Republican allies who have also encouraged the president to continue to deny that he lost the Nov. 3 election to Democrat Joe Biden.

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Republicans voting against the override included Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Mike Braun, R-Ind.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Mike Lee, R-Utah and John Kennedy, R-La. A handful of senators from the Democratic Caucus, including former Presidential primary candidates Corey Booker, N.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., voted against the veto override.

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The bill will now become law.

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, tweeted Friday that the override was a "resounding rebuke" to Trump's "senseless veto" of the act.

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"In three weeks, our country will inaugurate a president who respects our military, protects our security and honors the will of the Congress," Pelosi added. "Until then, the Congress urges Trump to end his desperate and dangerous sabotage."

On Dec. 23, Trump rejected the new legislation, which would fund the U.S. military going forward. Trump objected to provisions that would rename military installations after Confederate generals over three years.

Trump also wanted a repeal of Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, which protects social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter from legal liability for content posted on their platforms.

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The military legislation, usually passed yearly without fanfare, includes a 3% salary increase for U.S. military personnel.

"People are talking about how Democrats and Republicans can't do things together, but this is an example of what can happen when they work together," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said Friday.

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