US Congress overrides presidential veto on defence budget

4 January 2021 (Last Updated January 4th, 2021 09:45)

The US Congress has overturned a previous presidential veto of the annual $740bn defence budget, handing the Trump administration the first veto override just weeks before the transition.

The US Congress has overturned a previous presidential veto of the annual $740bn defence budget, handing the Trump administration the first veto override just weeks before the transition.

The move comes as the US Senate, the upper chamber of the Congress, voted 81-13 against the US President’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.

Earlier, the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress, voted 322-87 to override Donald Trump’s veto.

Last month, the US President Donald Trump returned the NDAA without approval citing that the budget failed to include critical national security measures.

The White House also opposed the renaming of certain military installations, as mentioned in the act.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We’ve passed this legislation 59 years in a row. And one way or another, we’re going to complete the 60th annual NDAA and pass it into law before this Congress concludes on Sunday.”

The NDAA authorises appropriations as well as outlines the policies for Department of Defense (DoD) programmes and activities.

Before Trump vetoed the bill, both the houses passed the NDAA with more than two-thirds majorities.

Notably, President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated as the 46th President of the US on 20 January.