US Senate overrides Trump's defense bill veto

The US Senate has voted to override a veto by President Donald Trump of a major defense bill, ensuring that it becomes law.

Senators approved the bill 81 to 13 in a New Year's day session on Friday, easily clearing the two-thirds-majority threshold required to defeat the presidential veto.

The House had twice backed the bill, which lays out defense spending for fiscal 2021.

The Senate vote brought together Republican and Democratic lawmakers in a rare show of bipartisan support. It was the first rejection of a presidential veto during the four-year term of President Trump, who leaves office on January 20.

Trump initially opposed the bill because it allows for the renaming of military facilities that honor confederate generals from the Civil War.

He was also unhappy that it doesn't accommodate his demand to eliminate legal protections for social media companies.

Trump lashed out at the Senate vote on Twitter, writing that "Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity" to repeal a legal shield which gives "unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!"