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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Congress handed President Trump a rare blow on Friday when the Senate joined the House in voting to override his veto of the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Why it matters: The bipartisan New Year's Day legislative rebuke is the first veto override of Trump's presidency. It comes less than three weeks before Trump leaves office and underscores the popularity of the military legislation, passed each Congress since 1967, that includes increased pay for troops.

Context: Trump vetoed the bill on Dec. 23 because lawmakers did not include a repeal of liability protections for social media companies outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as he demanded.

  • He also opposed a part of the bill that would rename 10 military bases and assets currently named after Confederate leaders within three years.
  • The bill includes provisions that strengthen anti-discrimination protections for federal employees, and it allocates funding for countering China and improving national cybersecurity.
  • The House of Representatives voted 322-87 on Monday to overturn Trump's veto.
  • The Senate's vote was 81-13.

Between the lines: The override is also just days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defied Trump's call for increased coronavirus relief payments by effectively killing a House-approved standalone measure for $2,000 stimulus checks.

  • McConnell said he has no intention of splitting apart a broader package that combines the checks with Trump's demands for an election fraud commission and the repeal of Section 230 — two no-gos for Democrats.

What they're saying: Though multiple Republicans supported Trump's efforts to repeal Section 230 because of an alleged anti-conservative bias by tech companies, they also insisted it didn't make sense to tie the repeal to the NDAA.

  • "President [Trump] is right—Big Tech needs to be reined in and I will vote with the President when Section 230 reform is on the Senate floor," Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) tweeted during the vote.
  • "And while I vote today to fund America’s military—our first and last line of defense—I will also stand with the President to ensure we have the votes to reform Section 230 and keep social media companies accountable to the will of the people."

The other side: "Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies Pathetic!!!," Trump tweeted on Friday.

  • "Now they want to give people ravaged by the China Virus $600, rather than the $2000 which they so desperately need. Not fair, or smart!"

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

12 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.