President Trump Says He's Signed $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill

President Trump Says He's Signed $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill

The US Senate narrowly averted a government shutdown by passing a US$1.3 trillion (S$1.7 trillion) spending Bill early yesterday, but President Donald Trump made a surprising threat to veto the Bill, raising the spectre of a possible shutdown. They did not want DACA in this bill.

Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the freedom caucus and a friend of the president, said in a tweet that the group would "fully support" a veto, adding that Congress should pass a short-term budget resolution while Mr Trump and congressional leaders "negotiate a better deal for the forgotten men and women of America".

The spending measure includes US$1.6 billion for border security, including money for fencing and levees, though that is only a fraction of the US$25 billion that Mr Trump wanted to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to make good on his campaign promise to keep out migrants.

Every bit as ominously, the bill will puts the United States back on a path toward trillion dollar annual deficits - even if the economy meets the lofty goals Trump has set for it (and the jury is most assuredly still out on that). In response to a question at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Trump said that he did not veto the bill "because of the incredible gains we've been able to make for the military", according to Axios.

The 71-year-old president warned Congress he would "never sign another bill like this again".

The near flip-flop on the spending bill caps yet another week of high drama at a White House that seems to lurch from crisis to crisis.

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that he is "considering" a veto because the spending bill does not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and it lacks the funding he wants for a wall on the Mexican border.

With Congress already on recess, and a government shutdown looming, he said that young immigrants now protected in the US under Barack Obama's Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals "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".

The tweet was at odds with comments Thursday by Trump's supporters.

Trump also complained the bill does not fully fund "the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense". A judge has forced the administration to continue issuing renewals. "But generally speaking, we think this is a really, really good immigration package", he said.

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But action stalled in the Senate, as conservatives ran the clock in protest.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 65-32 after a heated session stretched into the early hours on Friday.

The episode further eroded the already damaged credibility of both the president and a White House staff that had assured the nation he was onboard.

Paul "live-tweeted" the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, critiquing the about 600 pages of the almost 2,200-page legislation. "No one has read it. Congress is broken".

That's the spirit in which he offered an eleventh-hour threat to veto the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress this week (which would keep the government open until the end of September).

But the result has been unimaginable to many Republicans after campaigning on spending restraints and balanced budgets.

White House legislative director Marc Short framed it as a compromise.

"Keeping the border wall out of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge was a top priority and the barring of border wall funds at the refuge will ensure that Texans and Texas wildlife can enjoy this habitat for years to come", he said in a statement.

But even that remained a hard sell - a sign of the entrenched GOP divisions that have made the leadership's job controlling the majority difficult. They will likely repeat in the next budget battle in the fall.

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