Republican-led Senate overrides defense bill veto

SCHUMER: "I can't remember the last time the Senate convened on New Year's Day..."

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate, in a rare New Year's Day session, overrode President Donald Trump’s veto of a major defense bill… marking the very first defeat of a Trump veto.

The Senate on Friday voted 81-13 - to secure the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto with bipartisan support.

The $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act - or NDAA - determines everything from how many ships are bought to soldiers' pay and how to address geopolitical threats.

Trump refused to sign it into law because it does not repeal certain legal protections for tech companies. He also objects to a provision stripping the names of Confederate generals from military bases.

Trump on Friday tweeted: "Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!"

The House successfully voted to overturn Trump’s veto on Monday.

Republican lawmakers have largely stood by Trump during his time in office.

But since losing his re-election bid in November, Trump has lashed out at them - among other things, for moving toward the veto override and rejecting his demand for bigger COVID-19 relief checks.

Democrats welcomed Trump’s call for $2,000 direct relief payments and had hoped to use the NDAA to force a swift vote on a bill authorizing the checks.

But many Republicans like Senate Majority Leader McConnell have so far quashed the effort.

"The House Democrats bill is just simply not the right approach."

McConnell is tying larger checks to a competing bill with social media and election provisions that Democrats are sure to reject with little time left for maneuvering before the next Congress is sworn in on Sunday.