Trump says he has signed $1.3 trln spending bill into law
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 26, 2018,
Mar 26, 2018, 1:04
It provides funding for the hiring of more than 300 new Customs and Border Patrol agents. "Try her vote today in favor of a $1.3 trillion-dollar spending bill that doesn't include funding for a new #BorderWall but continues to fund #SanctuaryCities". Medical research at the National Institutes of Health, a longstanding bipartisan priority, would receive a record $3 billion increase to $37 billion. The CPB's budget was kept the same, at $465 million.
The Senate needed unanimous consent, meaning all members have to agree, to bring the bill up for a timely vote.
He urged lawmakers to grant him authority to veto individual line items in future spending bills.
Only a portion of the $1.6 billion in the new spending package can be used on new barriers.
That's much less than the $25 billion Trump wants.
Instead, in his veto threat Friday, Trump proposed something that conservative hard-liners have largely rejected in recent months - trading DACA protections for border wall money.
The bill would give Trump a huge budget increase for the military, while Democrats would cement wins on infrastructure and other domestic programs that they failed to get under President Barack Obama.
He touted the increase Friday as the biggest in history and said that the United States military "would be far superior than any military in the world".
Mattis quoted George Washington in saying that "to be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace".
He also both thanked Congress for working "so hard" on the 2,232 page long bill and said this would be the last time he would sign such a bill.
After flirting with a veto threat on a massive spending bill that doesn't fund a concrete border wall, President Trump signed the omnibus to avert a government shutdown.
In the latest episode of the Republican president throwing his White House, Congress and the federal government off balance, Trump had threatened in an early morning tweet to kill the government funding deal. "The president, and our leadership, and the leadership in the House got together and said, Look, we don't like what the Democrats are doing, we got to fund the government". An official confirmed that shortly before Trump's appearance, commenting on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
Trump's decision to ultimately sign the bill came after a call from Speaker Ryan.
For Trump, there are potential difficulties as well beyond the deficit-spending. The press conference comes just hours after he tweeted that he's considering vetoing the legislation. Several advisers inside and outside the White House said they suspected the tweet was just Trump blowing off steam.
Ryan's communications office issued a statement saying the legislation had been finalized but full details were not yet made public.
Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives work permits to the Dreamers and protects them from deportation.
Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said that is was "troublesome" that leaders were trying to push it though the House a day after releasing the bill.
But Trump's tweet has given them a new opening to cast their opponents - all House members who voted for the bill - as being on the wrong side of the Trump agenda. He adds that Congress should pass a short-term budget resolution while Trump and congressional leaders "negotiate a better deal for the forgotten men and women of America".
While criticizing the plan's relative lack of funding for a border wall and failure to address an immigration program for children, Trump described the military increases as essential to national security.
The bill is expected to be among the final major pieces of legislation to pass Congress before the fall's midterm elections, so many lawmakers were hoping to get wording related to their key issues into the plan seen as the metaphorical last train leaving the station.
"The budget bill that just passed spends money we don't have, fails to fund the wall, but does fund Planned Parenthood".
He voted against the measure, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi backed it. The bill passed 62-35 in the Senate and 256-167 in the House, both short of two-thirds.