Trump signs spending bill, despite veto threat on Twitter

ANI | Updated: Mar 24, 2018 00:59 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 24 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Friday signed the USD 1.3 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, ending speculations that he made earlier to veto the bill and shut down the government.

President Trump signed the bill in order to preserve increases in defence spending, while adding it was essential to national security.

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, USAToday reported.

"My highest duty is to keep America safe. There's a lot of things I'm unhappy about, and I will never sign another bill like this again," President Trump said.

He again called for an end to the filibuster rule that allows the minority party to block items unless they receive 60 votes, a maneuver the Democrats used to extract concessions from Trump and the Republicans in this bill.

"To prevent the Omnibus situation from ever happening again I am calling on Congress to give me a line item veto for all govt spending bills and the Senate must end the filibuster rule," President Trump stated.

He took a jibe at the Democrats saying that the DACA recipients were treated badly by them.

"DACA recipients have been treated very badly by the Democrats. We wanted to include DACA, we wanted to have them in this bill. 800,000 people... actually it could be even more. The Democrats would not do it," President Trump asserted.

"We want DACA recipients to know that the Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats. They are using you," he added.

The DACA is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals, under restrictive conditions, who entered the US as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country without legal permission to do so, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit.

The US President also hesitated at the USD 1.3 trillion price tag of the bill, saying "that the number is so large" and said "we had no choice but to fund our military."

President Trump vowed that he would keep pushing for the funding of an 'anti-migration' border wall along the US-Mexico border.

In a surprise tweet earlier on Friday, President Trump cited a lack of funding for the proposed wall, as well as the failure to address a programme for children whose parents brought them into the country illegally.

"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," President Trump tweeted.

The veto tweet surprised Republican lawmakers, who thought they had secured President Trump's approval earlier this week and when the bill was passed at the House on Thursday and cleared by the Senate on Friday.

Less than 24 hours before President Trump's veto threat tweet, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the US president would sign the bill, despite some misgivings.

Funding for the border wall has been a major source of contention between the US President and the Democrats, who think that the measure is unneccessary.

The US House passed a USD 1.3 trillion spending package on Thursday, sending a legislation to the US Senate that would prevent a government shutdown and deliver the largest federal spending increase in years.

According to The Hill, lawmakers voted 256-167 in favour of the bill. 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats voted against the bill

The spending package includes - a USD 695 billion in defence funding and USD 591 billion in non-defence funding, including a combined USD 78 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations spending that does not count toward legal budget caps.

The spending package also includes a USD 1.6 billion for border security, including hundreds of millions of dollars for new fence construction favoured by President Trump.

Other major provisions include a USD 4 billion to fight the nation's opioid epidemic crisis, a temporary extension to funding for the Federal Aviation Administration and a language designed to fix a glitch in the Republican new tax law that critics said threatened small farmers across the country. (ANI)

iocl