Trump signs $1.3 tln budget to avoid USA government shutdown

Trump threatens to veto spending bill, raising specter of another shutdown
Trump is about to hold a press conference announcing his decision on whether to veto the massive $1.3 trillion

26 March, 2018

"I can't sit here and tell you and your viewers that we love everything in the bill", he said on Fox.

Democrats said the bill will help fund the Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson River connecting NY and New Jersey and serving both Amtrak and New Jersey commuter trains, which Trump opposes.

Trump, meanwhile, has tried to pin the failure to reach a DACA deal on Democrats, arguing, "They don't want DACA" and are merely trying to use the issue as "a political football". Funding for the federal government was set to run out at 12:01 a.m Saturday.

President Trump speaks about the spending bill Friday.

. Tim Kaine, D-Va., sized up the president's veto threat Friday morning. The spending levels without any offsets are grotesque, throwing all of our children under the bus.

"My highest duty is to keep America safe", he said.

He said that in negotiations on Capitol Hill in recent weeks there has been "tremendous opposition from Democrats to creating what will be, by far, the strongest military that we've ever had".

Trump has long promised to fully fund the Pentagon and suggested that he was "forced" to sign the bill, much of which he dislikes, in order to fund the military.

"It's not right and it's very bad for our country", he said.

Although some conservative Republicans balked at the size of the spending increases and the rush to pass the bill, the White House says the president backs the legislation.

Defense Secretary James Mattis had urged Trump to sign the bill because of those defense funding boosts.

He decried a "monstrous bill" teeming with money for decades-old programmes.

Speaking Friday from the White House, the president said he signed the $1.3 trillion plan "as a matter of national security".

The Senate needed unanimous consent, meaning all members have to agree, to bring the bill up for a timely vote.

Trump threatens to veto spending bill, raising specter of another shutdown
President Trump signs $1.3 trillion spending bill hours after threatening veto

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY and his House counterpart, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, echoed the sentiment.

With Congress already on recess, Mr Trump had said on Twitter that he was weighing a veto.

The bill includes a gun-related measure incentivizing states and federal agencies to submit more of their records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which flags people like felons and domestic abusers who are banned from buying guns.

Although the measure doesn't fund a border wall, it does include $1.6 billion for border security, including $641 million for 33 miles of fencing and levees along the southern border. But less than half of the almost 95 miles (153 kilometers) of border construction that have been approved can be spent on new barriers.

House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a summary of the spending legislation to Trump at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

McConnell declared, "We intend to address the wall issue".

Staunch conservatives including the Freedom Caucus in Congress have been critical of such short-term spending bills and have said the government must be more concerned about lowering the deficit. I mean, if you can't - ultimately, the Democrats controlled this process in the Senate.

"We in the military are humbled and grateful to the American people for their sacrifices on behalf of this funding", he said. It says the bill does not have enough money for the border wall, leaves intact President Barack Obama's health care law and funds Planned Parenthood. "They would not do it", he said. The spending bill had been negotiated by Trump's own aides - with sign-off from the boss on every major decision.

After promising throughout the campaign that Mexico would pay for the behemoth border barrier, Trump asked Congress in January to earmark a whopping $25 billion for its construction.

"It's clear that the president understands the bad bargain he was given, and the staff responsible for negotiating it should be fired because they failed".

It's nearly done. After weeks of closed-door negotiations and days of extended haggling, congressional leaders said they had all but completed a massive $1.3 trillion spending deal to fund the government through September.

The veto threat injected chaos into what appeared to be the end of a protracted struggle to settle on a funding plan for the federal government.

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