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President Trump in the Oval Office on Dec. 7. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

The House voted 335-78 on Tuesday to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes a must-pass $740 million budget for defense spending.

Why it matters: The bill passed with a veto-proof majority. But it remains unclear whether the same number of Republicans would vote to override a presidential veto.

  • The large number of GOP votes shows how strong the bipartisan support is for this legislation, which has passed every year without fail for more than half a century.
  • President Trump has repeatedly foreshadowed a veto of the bill this year, demanding that Congress repeal a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.
  • Trump's opposition also grew after an amendment was added to rename 10 military bases that referenced the Confederacy.
  • Most lawmakers have said they expect they have the votes to override a potential veto if Trump follows through with his warning.

Details: The bill also provides a pay raise for troops and would give paid parental leave for federal employees.

  • The Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act — which would require federal agencies to create equal employment opportunity programs and protect workers from retaliation — is also included.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Alayna Treene: Trump is still threatening to veto the defense spending bill, but it has strong bipartisan support. Most lawmakers hope that Trump's veto threats are hollow and that he'll cave once both chambers pass the bill with significant Republican support.

  • Republican lawmakers also believe they have the votes to override a veto if needed.

What to watch: Although he said he would support the defense spending bill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that he would not override a presidential veto — putting him at odds with other top GOP members, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo).

Go deeper

Top Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2025

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A group of top Democrats on Tuesday introduced legislation to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over five years.

Why it matters: The policy, which has widespread support among Democratic lawmakers, aligns with what President Joe Biden has called for in his emergency COVID-19 relief package. It would more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.