Donald Trump speaks at the White House about the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Picture: AP
Donald Trump speaks at the White House about the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Picture: AP

‘Never again’: Trump’s $1.8 trillion threat

US President Donald Trump has grudgingly signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress despite his concerns over immigration issues - including the lack of full funding for his long-promised border wall in exchange for a deal on Dreamers, theNew York Post reported.

"They created a series of documents that nobody was able to read," he said about the bill during a signing event in the Diplomatic Reception room at the White House.

But he added, the omnibus bill was important because it boosted defence spending by $60 billion over last year, including pay hikes for the troops.

Donald Trump touches a copy of the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Picture: AP
Donald Trump touches a copy of the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Picture: AP

"As a matter of national security I'll sign this omnibus budget bill," he said, but warned that he would never sign such a hastily prepared bill again.

Mr Trump had earlier threatened to veto the bill - and was reportedly fuming all morning about details in the bill he didn't like.

"I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients 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," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

Congress passed the massive spending bill just after midnight Friday - after the Mr Trump administration initially said he would sign it.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Thursday that the bill "funds his (Trump's) priorities."

"Let's cut right to the chase: Is the president going to sign the bill? The answer is yes," he said, CNN reported.

"Is it perfect? No," Mr Mulvaney added. "Is it exactly what we asked for in the budget? No. Were we ever going to get that? No. That is not how the process works."

Donald Trump speaks about the omnibus spending bill.  Picture:  AFP
Donald Trump speaks about the omnibus spending bill. Picture: AFP

The Senate voted narrowly to avert a government shutdown by passing the spending bill, which increases military and domestic spending and strengthens background checks for gun purchasers.

The House approved the bill a day earlier.

Mr Trump wanted billions more for the wall in exchange for protection for Dreamers, illegal immigrants brought here as children who were protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Protesters during a demonstration in support of the DACA in 2017.  Picture:  AFP
Protesters during a demonstration in support of the DACA in 2017. Picture: AFP

 

This article first appeared in the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.



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