Trump signs spending bill despite veto threat
by Evan Wilt
Posted 3/23/18, 01:54 pm
UPDATE: President Donald Trump called off his veto threat Friday and signed a $1.3 trillion budget to fund the government through the end of September. Congress approved the budget Thursday, increasing military spending to the highest amount in U.S. history. On Friday morning, Trump threatened to veto the bill because it didn’t align with his immigration and border security priorities. “As a matter of national security, I’ve signed this omnibus budget bill,” Trump said during a White House news conference. “I will never sign another bill like this again.” The president called the 2,223-page legislation a “ridiculous situation” and said nobody read the entire bill before voting on it. He said the Senate must eliminate the filibuster rule to create a better legislative process. In April 2017, 62 senators signed a letter in opposition to changing the rule.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (10:11 a.m.): Lawmakers successfully passed a $1.3 trillion budget Thursday, 24 hours before the federal government ran out of funds. But on Friday morning, President Donald Trump threatened to stymie the deal. “I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our national defense, is not fully funded,” he tweeted. The spending package raises military spending by $80 billion this year and boosts domestic programs by $63 billion. It does not affect immigration laws and provides about $1.6 billion in border security spending—well under what the president requested. The spending package brought together leaders from both parties, but many lawmakers bemoaned the bill’s additions to the national debt and the rushed process. House leaders posted the 2,223 pages of the bill’s text just hours before asking members to vote on it. It passed out of the lower chamber early Thursday afternoon by a vote of 256-167, with 91 Republicans opposing it. Once in the Senate, conservatives panned the bill for its high price tag, while most Democrats lauded the legislation. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who blocked a spending bill in February and caused a brief government shutdown, attempted to read through the entire bill and point out problem areas on his Twitter feed. He made it to page 600 before time ran out. Paul and 23 other Senate Republicans voted against the legislation. Fiscal conservatives welcomed Trump’s veto, which would force a government shutdown. “The spending levels without any offsets are grotesque, throwing all of our children under the bus,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., tweeted in response to the president’s threat. “Totally irresponsible.”
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.