WASHINGTON, DC — Congress has overridden President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, a first by lawmakers since he took office nearly four years ago.
In an extraordinary New Year’s Day session, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate easily turned aside the veto.
Lawmakers dismissed Trump’s objections to the $740 billion bill and handed the president a stinging rebuke weeks before his term ends.
Trump rejected the defense measure last week, saying it failed to limit social media companies he claimed were biased against him during his failed re-election campaign.
Trump had also opposed language that allows for the re-naming of military bases that honor Confederate leaders.
The 81-13 vote in the Senate followed an earlier 322-87 override vote in the U.S. House of the widely popular defense measure.
The bill provides a 3% pay raise for U.S. troops and guides defense policy, cementing decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, personnel policy and other military goals.
Many programs, including military construction, could only go into effect if the bill was approved.