UPDATED 7:15 AM PT – Saturday, January 2, 2021
The Senate voted to override the President’s veto of the sweeping defense bill, the ‘National Defense Authorization Act.’
On Friday, Senators voted 81-to-13 to approve the $740 billion bill, which met the two-thirds majority requirement needed. The move was the first time lawmakers overruled the President in his four years in office.
Senators who DID NOT VOTE on the defense authorization veto override:
Republicans Gardner, Graham, Loeffler, Perdue, Sasse
— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) January 1, 2021
The bill outlines the military budget for 2021, which includes pay rates for service members and weapons spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stressed the NDAA is traditionally passed with little to no debate for decades.
“We passed this legislation 59 years in a row,” McConnell said. “And one way or another, we’re going to complete the 60th annual NDAA and pass it into law before this Congress concludes on Sunday.”
When the legislation originally reached the President’s desk, he condemned the act for failing to repeal Section 230, which offers liability protection to tech giants like Facebook and Twitter. He also objected to language that would allow the military to rename nearly a dozen major bases that are named after Confederate military commanders.
However, the President’s remarks came as Congress faced a time crunch to get necessary legislation passed before the new Congress is sworn in.
Meanwhile, lawmakers take pride in passing the legislation every year with bipartisan support. McConnell said the measure is owed to members of the U.S. military.
“Over the past year, our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have made sure that the legislation delivers for our troops and for our nation,” McConnell stated. “Now it’s time for us to deliver this bill.”
In the meantime, Congress will convene to open the 117th Congress on January 3. They could address outstanding issues like raising the stimulus and the electoral certification.