Trump Signing $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill, Averting A Government Shutdown

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2018

Trump said he decided against a veto for the sake of the military. But a month ago, we had a bill that Senator Rounds and Senator King - a Republican and an independent - put forth that we had enough votes to pass.

Trump lamented the "ridiculous situation that took place over the last week", pointing out that lawmakers had little time to read through the 2,232-page document, and grumbled about the high price tag, but cited few specific provisions he opposed. He had threatened to veto the bill because it did not adequately address border wall funding and did not offer protections of DACA recipients.

Prior to Trump signing the bill, Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, told reporters he supported a pathway to citizenship for dreamers.

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican, said, "We have an indefensible position as the Congress, but we also have a responsibility as the Congress, and the responsibility is not to shut the government down".

Under the bill, just 33 miles of new barriers can be built and only using "bollard" fencing or levees, not the concrete prototypes Mr Trump has viewed in photo ops, reports the newspaper.

Best guess: Mulvaney, Ryan, and McConnell will convince Trump to sign the omnibus, with a lot of public grumbling. Several aides scrambled to persuade the president not to follow through with his threat.

Trump said each of these exempted countries has an important security relationship with the US. The US leader was to address the media at the White House after he appeared to reverse his support for the $1.3 trillion spending bill, amid unfavorable television coverage.

It does include $1.6 billion worth of border wall funding - much less than the $25 billion the White House asked for.

The president was upset with the amount of money for his border wall, and he griped about a proposed tunnel between NY and New Jersey - a project beloved by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) - that Trump has ferociously tried to block as part of the negotiations.

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Trump also complained the bill does not fully fund "the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense".

This bill provides only $1.6 billion for a year's work. And again, I think it just shows how responsive Trump is to the moment, to what's said on television and how little he has really thought through nearly any of his positions.

"He doesn't like it", the official said, who described the President's mood as "venting" more than seriously considering a veto. Many lawmakers have already left Washington for two weeks recess, so a renegotiation is unlikely. Non-defense domestic spending will reach United States dollars 591 billion, a hike of about 10 per cent.

Trump only reluctantly backed the bill, according to Republican lawmakers and aides, who acknowledged the deal involved necessary trade-offs for the Democratic votes that were needed for passage despite their majority lock on Congress.

Trump issued a statement to that effect this morning.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said: "If there is no DACA fix today it's because the president didn't want one". Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., accused Trump of making a "loser's bluff". "I don't think anyone can dispute the impacts that dreamers and foreign-born residents have on our economy, our jobs and most importantly, future business growth".

He also had a message for DACA recipients: The Republicans are with you.

Although Trump aides declared Thursday that Trump meant to sign the bill, there were signs of his displeasure with various aspects of it. But in crafting a sweeping deal that busts budget caps, they've stirred conservative opposition and set the contours for the next funding fight ahead of the midterm elections.

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