Several top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., voted in favor of the override, which passed 81-13. The vote marked the first time in Trump’s presidency that one of his vetoes was overturned.
Notable senators who voted against the override included Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
President Trump vetoed the $740 billion military spending bill on Dec. 23, despite its passage with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate. The president warned that he would not approve the bill unless it contained language to repeal Section 230, a measure that protects social media firms from being liable for third-party posts on their platforms.
Trump and his top GOP allies have accused tech firms, especially Facebook and Twitter, of censoring conservative viewpoints and demonstrating a bias in favor of President-elect Biden. The president also took issue with a provision in the NDAA that called for the renaming of military bases bearing the names of Confederate figures.
The Senate approved the override days after the House overwhelmingly voted to overturn Trump’s veto. McConnell broke with Trump on the issue, declaring his support for passage of the NDAA and touting the bill as vital to U.S. security interests.
In his defense of the bill, McConnell noted that it included 3% pay raises for members of the military.
“For the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, failure is not an option,” McConnell wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “So when it is our turn in Congress to have their backs, failure is not an option here either.”
The Senate’s decision will likely rankle Trump, who criticized House Republicans earlier this week for contradicting his position. The president called the House’s GOP leadership “weak and tired” and described their override vote as a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission” to the tech industry.
“Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW!” Trump tweeted. “Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!”
While opposing Trump’s veto, McConnell introduced a bill earlier this week which links the approval of $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans to a repeal of Section 230 and other provisions favored by Trump. Prominent Democrats have called on McConnell to hold a vote on the $2,000 checks as a standalone issue before Congress ends its current session.