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Trump suffers defeat as U.S Senate overrides his veto

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 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Friday overrode his veto for the first time in his nearly four years in office, pushing through a bill on defense spending against his strong objections 20 days before he leaves office.

Meeting in a rare New Year’s Day session, the Senate voted 81-13 to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto with bipartisan support two days before a new Congress will be sworn in on Sunday. Eight previous vetoes have been upheld.

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Republican lawmakers have largely stood by the president during his turbulent White House term. Since losing his re-election bid in November, Trump has lashed out at them for not fully backing his unsupported claims of voting fraud, rejecting his demand for bigger COVID-19 relief checks and for moving toward the veto override.

The Republican-led Senate reconvened midday to take up the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which determines everything from how many ships are bought to soldiers’ pay and how to address geopolitical threats.

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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.

Reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Matthew Lewis and Howard Goller

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