Washington, Dec 29 : The Democrat-led House of Representatives has voted to override US President Donald Trump’s veto of an annual defence bill, which initially passed both the House and the Senate with veto-proof majorities.
With a 322-87 vote on Monday, the House easily passed the threshold of a two-thirds majority to override the President’s veto of the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.
The vote marked the first time during Trump’s presidency that lawmakers rebuked the President’s veto.
On December 23, Trump followed through on his threat to veto the annual policy legislation.
The veto is so rare in history that it hadn’t happened to the NDAA for nearly six consecutive decades.
Ahead of the vote, Texas Republican Representative Mac Thornberry, who is also the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, urged his colleagues to vote for “the exact same bill” and “put the best interests of the country first”.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington, said “it is enormously important that we pass this bill”.
The Republican-majority Senate is scheduled to begin its process of overriding the veto on Tuesday.
The final override vote in the upper chamber is not expected for days.
If the bill cannot be enacted before January 3, 2021, when the new Congress starts, lawmakers will have to start from scratch.
Trump objected the bill, which will fund the US military portfolio through September 2021, because it did not include a provision to repeal or “make any meaningful changes” to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that provides a legal shield to social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, which the President claimed used that section of the law to suppress conservative voices.
Trump’s refusal to sign the bill into law also derived from the inclusion of a provision that requires Confederate military bases to be renamed within three years.
The President, in his statement notifying Congress of his decision, had said that the bill “restricts the President’s ability to preserve our Nation’s security by arbitrarily limiting the amount of military construction funds that can be used to respond to a national emergency”, and that “numerous provisions of the Act directly contradict my Administration’s foreign policy, particularly my efforts to bring our troops home”.