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To uphold defense bill, Senate overrides Trump’s veto for the first time

The Senate voted to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense spending bill Friday, the first time in Trump’s presidency that Congress has done so.

The National Defense Authorization Act is a $2.3 trillion bill that is necessary to avoid a federal government shutdown. This 81-13 vote in the Republican-led Senate signals a rare departure among party leaders, who have followed the president’s lead for much of his time in office.

Trump had also seemed poised to reject a coronavirus relief package that Congress passed before Christmas. He criticized the bill for offering $600 in payments to individuals, demanding that it be increased to $2,000 — far more than what Republicans had negotiated for months and in line with what Democrats had long been advocating. On Sunday he reversed course and signed that bill.

Still, some senators sought to block action on the defense bill until the Senate voted on Trump’s request for bigger relief checks.

This story is developing and will be updated.