McConnell signals Senate has votes to override Trump’s defense veto

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is signaling lawmakers have the votes to override President Trump’s veto of a mammoth defense policy bill as soon as Wednesday.

“The House voted to reapprove the conference report on this must-pass legislation. Today the Senate will set up a final vote for tomorrow, Wednesday, with this chamber to follow suit,” McConnell said from the Senate floor on Tuesday.

“For the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, failure is simply not an option. So when it’s our time in Congress to have their backs, failure is not an option either. I would urge my Republican colleagues to support this legislation one more time when we vote tomorrow,” McConnell added.

But whether the Senate holds a veto override vote on Wednesday is in limbo. McConnell tried to set up the vote earlier but that effort was blocked by Democrats, who are trying to get a separate stand-alone vote to increase the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.

If McConnell has to break a rare filibuster of the veto override effort, that would set up a 60-vote threshold procedural hurdle for Thursday.

The veto override will ultimately need a two-thirds majority to pass the Senate. If every member voted, 67 votes would be needed. The National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate earlier this month in an 84-13 vote.

The House voted on Monday to override Trump, marking the first time either chamber has successfully voted to nix a veto during his presidency.

The Senate has to hold its final vote before noon on Jan. 3, when the 117th Congress will be sworn in.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

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