Senate Moves Defense Policy Bill One Step Closer to Obama’s Veto Pen

The Senate has moved the annual defense policy bill one step closer to passage and President Barack Obama’s desk, where he has promised to veto it. But the upper chamber did so with a somewhat surprising amount of Democratic support, indicating the Republican majority has enough votes to override the threatened veto.

As the vote trickled by on Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., had told Defense One: “The question is, is there going to be 60 votes.”

But the Senate advanced the fiscal year 2016 bill, known as the NDAA, by a vote of 73 to 26. Twenty-one Democrats voted for the $612 billion bill, despite the Obama administration’s opposition to what they call a “gimmick” — using the Pentagon’s war chest, the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, or OCO, to increase military spending while skirting the budget caps. Only one Republican, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, Ky., voted nay.

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