Senate passes defense spending bill with veto-proof majority

Both the Senate and the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act with more than the two-thirds majority needed to prevent President Donald Trump from vetoing it. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI

Dec. 12 (UPI) — The Senate overwhelmingly approved the annual defense spending bill Friday, giving the legislation enough votes to avoid President Donald Trump’s threat of a veto.

The chamber voted 84-13 to pass the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act. The House also gave it the two-thirds passage needed to prevent a veto Tuesday.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced the legislation’s passage on Twitter.

“This annual bill will unlock the training, tools, and cutting-edge equipment that our service members and civilian employees need as they bravely defend American lives and American interests,” he said.

The NDAA includes funding for major military programs and weapons systems, and authorizes dozens of special pay and bonuses for service members.

Trump, however, has opposed the measure based on a provision that would require the Pentagon to rename military bases and other property named after Confederate figures and establish a commission to determine how those changes will be executed.

Additionally, Trump has demanded that the bill include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides liability protection to online platforms for content posted by third parties.

“I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act, which I will VETO,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday before the House vote. “Must include a termination of Section 230 (for National Security purposes), preserve our National Monuments, & allow for 5G & troop reductions in foreign lands!”


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