Key test vote on Trump veto override set for Friday

Key test vote on Trump veto override set for Friday
© Getty/Greg Nash

The Senate will take a key test vote on Friday on whether to override President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE's veto of a mammoth defense bill. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa House Democrats grow frustrated as they feel ignored by Senate Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R-Ky.) moved on Wednesday to tee up the override effort, meaning that absent an agreement the earliest they'll be able to take the procedural vote is on Friday. 

Supporters of overriding Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will need 60 votes on Friday to end debate and pave the way for a final vote on overriding Trump. 

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It appears guaranteed that the Senate will vote to override Trump, which would mark the first time Congress has successfully nixed a presidential veto under the current administration.

The Senate will ultimately need a two-thirds vote to override Trump's veto. The earliest it could happen is Friday if senators agree to speed things up; otherwise, it will be dragged into Saturday. 

The veto override effort overcame an initial procedural hurdle on Wednesday night in an 80-12 vote. The Senate floor action comes after the House voted to override Trump on Monday in an 322-87 vote. 

McConnell threw his support behind overriding the veto this week and signaled that he has the votes to do so. 

"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 said from the Senate floor. 

Trump vetoed the NDAA on Dec. 23 after warning for weeks that he would not support the legislation because it does not repeal what’s known as Section 230 — a provision from a 1996 law providing a legal shield for tech companies that has emerged as a fixation for the president — and requires Confederate-named bases and military installations be renamed.

The bill also sparked Trump’s ire because it puts limits on his ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Germany, two decisions that divide the president and congressional Republicans.