Trump begrudgingly signs 2018 federal spending bill after threatening veto

President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package into law Friday after earlier threatening a veto. The bill, which funds the federal government through September, passed both houses of Congress in separate votes on Thursday and early Friday morning.

Prefacing his comments about the legislative process surrounding H.R. 1625  as a “ridiculous situation” at a White House news conference, Trump touted increases in military spending for fiscal year 2018. If the president exercised veto power and rejected the legislation, a shutdown of government services would have begun at midnight Friday.

Trump went on to eviscerate Congress for holding a last-minute vote in which “nobody read the bill” and not making a deal to extend the DACA immigration program in-exchange for border security funding.

“There are a lot of things that I’m unhappy about in this bill,” Trump said. “There are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill.”

Trump also called for the re-institution of presidential line-item veto powers, deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a 1998 ruling, and to end to the Senate filibuster rule which would allow a simply 51-vote majority to pass legislation.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and House Speaker Paul Ryan all lobbied the president to support the spending bill.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, with a total of 2,323 pages, includes $654.6 billion in discretionary defense spending, $80 billion more than FY 2017, and a $63 billion increase for domestic programs.

Starting Thursday afternoon, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) live tweeted his reading of the bill, before giving up after getting about halfway through.

Here are some highlights from Paul’s Twitter account:

 

Editor’s note: This article was last updated 3/24, 11:51 a.m. EDT

 

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