Congress has voted to override President Trump’s veto of the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act, meaning the legislation is now law.
Congress must pass legislation with a two-thirds majority in order to override a presidential veto. The House voted 322-87 Dec. 28 to enact the NDAA, and the Senate followed suit with a 81-13 vote on Jan. 1.
The legislation authorizes billions of dollars for paychecks and raises for service members, as well as military construction and weapons programs.
The NDAA risked being held up by a few senators’ demand for $2,000 COVID-19 aid checks to Americans, but that effort failed.
The bill authorizes spending through Sept. 30, 2021.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) praised the veto override, which marked the 60th consecutive year the NDAA was passed.
“After a year’s worth of difficult work and thorough negotiations, the legislature has once again fulfilled our constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense,” he said in a statement. “The NDAA’s broad and deep support is a testament to the merits of this year’s bill and underscores the seriousness with which the Congress takes our commitment to our services members, their families, and our national security.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the NDAA a “strong message of support” for troops.
“Not only does this bill give our service members and their families the resources they need, but it also makes our nation more secure — pushing back against China and Russia, strengthening our cyber defenses, and accelerating innovation into the technologies that will keep our children’s children safe,” he said in a statement. “I’m glad the Senate voted once again, by a wide bipartisan margin, for this bill — the most important bill we do each and every year, for 60 years in a row.”