After Threatening Veto, Trump Signs $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown

President Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Friday about the omnibus spending bill. President Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Friday about the omnibus spending bill. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump on Friday signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund government through Sept. 30, ending a dramatic standoff in which he threatened to veto the measure and shut down the government.

Trump said at the White House on Friday he only agreed to sign the bill because of the $60 billion boost to defense spending.

“As as matter of national security I’ve signed the omnibus budget deal,” Trump said. “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.”

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Trump warned he would “never sign a bill like this again,” saying the 2,200-page measure was too large and rushed. He called on Congress to give him line-item veto authority on spending bills and to end the Senate filibuster.

Trump flirted with sparking the third shutdown of the year, with his veto threat coming as lawmakers had largely already skipped town after wrapping up votes on the omnibus spending package early Friday morning. Trump said he was considering a veto of the measure because it does not deal with immigrants whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status is up in the air and because his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is only partially funded.

The wall was a key sticking point in negotiations over fiscal 2018 appropriations, and lawmakers eventually struck a delicate compromise in which the Homeland Security Department would receive $1.6 billion for new and secondary fencing and other border security measures. On Thursday at the White House, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney praised the agreement as providing more structure along the border than the administration asked for in fiscal 2018. Mulvaney said that Trump wanted the omnibus passed and that he would sign it.

The DACA issue arose in September when Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended the program that President Obama initiated. Sessions gave immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States illegally as children until March 5 to apply for renewal, but federal courts have since delayed that cut off date.

The omnibus spending bill will provide nearly every agency a funding increase in fiscal 2018 after Trump earlier this year signed a budget agreement raising non-defense discretionary caps by $63 billion. The measure would put restrictions on other Trump administration priorities, such as its plan to reorganize agencies and shed workers, but the president did not mention those in his veto threat. In addition to Mulvaney’s assertion that Trump would sign the bill, the White House put out a formal Statement of Administration Policy on Thursday spelling out all the reasons the president would approve of the bill.

If Trump had not signed the bill, agencies would have been forced to shut down at midnight.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec