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Tags: trump | veto | threat | spending

Trump Approves $1.3 Trillion Budget, Averts Govt Shutdown

Trump Approves $1.3 Trillion Budget, Averts Govt Shutdown
(Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 March 2018 02:18 PM EDT

President Donald Trump said Friday afternoon he was signing the $1.3 trillion spending bill that passed in both Houses of Congress, an announcement that came hours after he hinted at vetoing the measure.

A Trump veto would have led to a government shutdown, with the deadline to pass a spending bill looming late Friday night.

"As a matter of national security, I have signed this omnibus budget bill. There are a lot of things that I'm unhappy about in this bill. There are a lot of things that we shouldn't have had in this bill, but were in a sense forced [to have] if we want to build our military," Trump said during a hastily scheduled press conference in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room.

"My highest duty is to keep America safe. Nothing more important. The omnibus bill reverses this dangerous defense as crazy as it's been, as difficult as it's been, as much opposition to the military as we've had from the Democrats."

Friday morning, Trump said the absence of border wall funding and the fact that the bill did not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could lead to him shooting down the bill.

Trump, however, pointed to keeping the military funded as his reason for signing the spending bill. He noted that it allocated money "for our final fight in certain areas," alluding to the ongoing military operations against the Islamic State terror group. The bill also gives troops a pay increase.

"This will be actually the largest pay increase for our incredible people went over a decade," he said.

Regarding the construction of a border wall system between the United States and Mexico, one of Trump's signature campaign promises, Trump said that will begin on Monday using the $1.6 billion that was already allocated for the project.

The House and Senate passed the spending bill in Thursday votesTwenty-three Senate Republicans voted againstt it, while 39 Democrats voted for the measure that totaled more than 2,300 pages.

Trump was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and others during Friday's press briefing. He argued that the U.S. needs to continue having "the strongest military in the world" and rattled off some of the line items in the spending bill — which include money for several dozen new fighter jets, midair refueling planes, and Naval ships.

"We are very disappointed that in order to fund the military, we had to give up things we were considering … but that's the way, unfortunately right now, the system works," Trump said.

After ending his prepared remarks, Trump walked away from the lectern as reporters shouted questions. He stopped and spoke when asked about his earlier veto threat.

"I was thinking about doing the veto, but because of the incredible gains that we've been able to make for the military, that overrode any of our thinking."

Many Republicans expressed their distaste for the spending bill, with many calling out the process by which it passed more than the content of it.

Leaders of both parties released the final draft of the bill Wednesday, which gave the rest of Congress less than 24 hours to read and digest the massive document.

"You have to know what's in it. Really, should we be looking at 1,000-page bills with 24 hours to decide what's in them? It's really not a good way to run your government," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said.

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Politics
President Donald Trump said Friday afternoon he was signing the $1.3 trillion spending bill that passed in both Houses of Congress, an announcement that came hours after he hinted at vetoing the measure.
trump, veto, threat, spending
633
2018-18-23
Friday, 23 March 2018 02:18 PM
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