Washington: The Republican-controlled Senate voted to ignore Donald Trump's objections and back a $961 billion defence authorisation bill into law, delivering the first successful veto override of his presidency.
The 81 to 13 vote in the Senate came just days after the House also voted in overwhelming numbers to back the legislation, despite Trump's repeated protests. It takes two-thirds of each chamber to override a presidential veto.
The strong bipartisan majorities supporting the defence bill in both chambers represent a a significant rebuke of the president, as it contains several repudiations of his policies.
US President Donald Trump visits a section of the border wall in April 2019. Credit:AP
The bill contains new restrictions on how much of the military's construction budget the President may move by emergency order – a direct response to Trump's efforts to divert billions of the Pentagon's dollars toward the border wall. It also limits the President's ability to draw down troop levels in Germany, South Korea and Afghanistan – a move Trump had planned over the objections of members of his own party.
In his veto statement, Trump included the restrictions on troop deployments high on his list of grievances with the legislation. He also objected to the bill's mandate to the Pentagon to change the names of installations honouring members of the Confederacy, and for not including a repeal of a completely unrelated law – Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – that gives technology companies certain liability protections from content third parties post to their websites.
Trump has taken aim at Section 230 as part of a larger campaign against social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google, which he has accused of harbouring anti-conservative bias.
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