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Trump Faces First Veto Override

The House voted on Monday to override President Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, setting the stage for what would be the first veto override of his presidency.

House members voted 322-87 to override the veto, well above the two-thirds needed to override. The Senate, which is expected to vote on the override this week, also needs to approve it by a two-thirds majority.

Trump rejected the defense bill last week, saying it failed to limit social media companies he claims were biased against him during his failed reelection campaign.

The $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act was passed this month by 335 votes to 78 in the Democratic-controlled House and by 84 to 13 in the Republican-majority Senate.

Trump threatened for days to not sign the COVID-19 relief and spending bill that had been hammered out by his own treasury secretary and had received broad bipartisan support in Congress.

Trump has succeeded throughout his four-year term in enforcing party discipline in Congress, with few Republicans willing to publicly oppose him. The bipartisan vote on the widely popular defense bill showed the limits of Trump’s influence in the final weeks before he leaves office.

Trump has offered a series of rationales for rejecting the defense bill. He urged lawmakers to impose limits on Twitter and other social media companies he claimed are biased against him.

The measures require the Pentagon to submit reports certifying that the proposed withdrawals would not jeopardize U.S. national security.

Trump finally backed down under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, and signed the bill on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a rare break with Trump, had urged passage of the defense bill despite Trump’s veto threat. McConnell said it was important for Congress to continue its nearly six-decade-long streak of passing the defense policy bill.

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