Published: Sun, March 25, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump signs spending bill, blasts Congress

Trump signs spending bill, blasts Congress

After tweeting a threat to veto the $1.3 trillion spending bill Congress passed at 1 am Friday, President Donald Trump promised to sign the funding package at a midday speech - averting government shutdown.

The White House has said Trump remains concerned about the national debt, which has grown from $20 trillion as of September 8 of past year to $21 trillion as of March 16, the Washington Examiner reported.

Congress recessed with the assumption that Trump would sign the bill, The Wall Street Journal notes.

"It's only hours old", Trump continued to complain.

Trump was fuming about the spending bill, an official said, particularly the news coverage he watched Friday morning that said his immigration priorities won't be fully funded.

Trump told a group of reporters he looked "very seriously at the veto" but made a decision to sign the bill given "the incredible gains" for the military.

Defense Secretary James Mattis also praised the increase in defense spending.

While Trump has repeatedly criticized Democrats over DACA, he canceled the program last fall, ending the issuance of new DACA permits.

"DACA recipients have been treated extremely badly by the Democrats", said Trump, who ended the program previous year. They want to get the situations taken care of. "The Democrats would not do it", the president said.

Trump also has been at odds with Democrats in Congress over the fate of Dreamer immigrants - those brought to the United States illegally when they were children. 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 a year ago.

Trump announced an end to the DACA programme last September, saying Obama's executive order was "unlawful" and "unconstitutional" and that he was providing a six-month window for Congress to enact a legislative solution.

Progressives within the party say centrist manoeuvres like passing funding bills without protections for Dreamers will stop a "Blue Wave" - a large number of victories for Democrats - in the midterms.

The President's answer, delivered with a smile, elicited laughter from the audience - including his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump. "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.

The president touted the importance of military funding in the omnibus, citing national security concerns as one of the reasons he signed the bill.

While disappointed that the border wall was not fully funded, Trump told reporters he will put the money to work immediately.

Only a portion of the $1.6 billion in the new spending package can be used on new barriers.

"Praise be to God we don't ever have to use it, but there will be nobody that's even close", Trump said.

However, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was still in town and encouraged Trump to veto the bill, describing part of it as "grotesque".

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