Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto

Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto
US President Donald Trump speaks about the spending bill during a press conference in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House on Mar. 23, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 23 March 2018

Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto

Trump signs $1.3 trillion budget after threatening veto

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending measure Friday averting a government shutdown at midnight, acting just hours after saying he was considering a veto.
Trump complained that the legislation does not fully fund his plans for a border wall with Mexico and does not address some 800,000 "Dreamer" immigrants who are now protected from deportation under a program that he has moved to eliminate. He said he signed it in order to provide needed money for the military.
Earlier Friday, Trump cast doubt on whether he would back the massive spending bill, saying he was "considering" a veto. Then, adding to the made-for-TV drama, he scheduled a news conference. Telegraphing the outcome, an internal White House television feed advertised the event this way: "President Trump Participates in a Bill Signing."
With Congress already on recess, Trump had said on Twitter that he was weighing a veto. He said that young immigrants now protected in the US under Barack Obama's Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals "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."
Several advisers inside and outside the White House had characterized the tweet as Trump blowing off steam.
Trump's tweet had been at odds with what top members of Trump's administration and House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, and with a formal statement of administration policy, which said Trump was supportive of the measure.

The Senate passage of the bill averted a third federal shutdown this year, an outcome both parties wanted to avoid. But the budget caps-busting deal drew serious conservative opposition. It also failed to resolve the stalemate over shielding young Dreamer immigrants from deportation after Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last year.

The spending package includes $1.6 billion for Trump's long-promised border wall with Mexico. But less than half of the nearly 95 miles (153 kilometers) of border construction that have been approved can be spent on new barriers. The rest can only be used to repair existing segments.
The money was far less than the $25 billion over 10 years Trump had asked for as part of a last-ditch deal that would have included providing a temporary extension of the DACA program. White House budget officials have nonetheless tried to spin the funding as a win.