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Trump Says He Signed Spending Bill, Reversing His Veto Threat

Trump Says He Signed Spending Bill, Reversing His Veto Threat

"My highest duty is to keep America safe", he said.

The 71-year-old president warned Congress he would "never sign another bill like this again". He said it spent way too much money, but then went through all the billions of taxpayer dollars it allocated to things he liked. "Nobody read it. Its only hours old", the president said of the almost 2,200-page bill released Wednesday night. 'The president will be even more aggressive than he has been in the past'.

Trump eventually signed the bill, but not before holding a press conference on Friday during which he criticized the process.

He said the measure will keep the military funded and provide the largest pay increase for US troops in over a decade. Many, like House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., say they were dismayed that the legislation includes spending increases sought by Democrats and fails to fulfill Republican campaign promises to cut the overall size of government.

The centerpiece was a big increase in USA defense spending to $700 billion dollars, up $61 billion, and a 10% hike in domestic spending, which would rise to $591 billion.

Just before 9 a.m. Friday, Trump tweeted that he was "considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill", which some conservatives spent the morning railing against on one of the President's favorite TV shows, "Fox and Friends".

The Senate passage of the bill averted a third federal shutdown this year, an outcome both parties wanted to avoid. Schumer said. "We produced a darn good bill". "The Democrats would not do it", the president said. They were protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began in 2012.

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With Congress already on recess, Mr Trump had said on Twitter that he was weighing a veto.

Before Trump made the bill law, a senior Democratic aide on Capitol Hill told the Guardian: "One of two things will happen". Democrats have repeatedly threatened government shutdowns over protections, only to relent and vote for further spending bills.

Meanwhile the fate of Dreamers rests with federal courts, whose rulings have blocked Trump's administration from ending DACA for now, and ordered the resumption of DACA permit renewals.

Trump also balked at the overall $1.3 trillion price tag of the bill - "the number is so large; it'll start coming down" - but said "we had no choice but to fund our military".

Only a portion of the $1.6 billion in the new spending package can be used on new barriers. "We're going to be starting work literally on Monday on not only some new wall - not enough but we're working on that very quickly - but also fixing existing walls", he said.

The Conservative wing of Trump's party had panned the bill because of its spending increases and some deficit hawks cheered Trump's threat to veto it. Trump called for the Senate to remove its filibuster rule, to allow legislation to advance by a simple majority of 51 votes, and for Congress to give him a line-by-line veto of future budgets to prevent a repeat situation.


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