Trump Signs Spending Package, Ending Short Shutdown

Trump Signs Spending Package, Ending Short Shutdown.

by John T. Bennett · February 9, 2018
Updated at 9:06 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday signed a six-week stopgap spending bill featuring a sweeping budget deal following a holdup in the Senate that sent ripples waves across the country and briefly shuttered the government. But he slammed Democrats for insisting it include “much waste.”

“Just signed bill,” Trump tweeted around 8:45 a.m.

Trump used the bipartisan spending deal, and concessions he and GOP members made, to lobby for more Republican members of Congress. “Costs on non-military lines will never come down if we do not elect more Republicans in the 2018 Election, and beyond,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trump called the stopgap spending measure with its increased budget caps “a BIG VICTORY for our Military,” but added it included “much waste in order to get Dem votes.”

He lauded the bill’s exclusion of language addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, saying “negotiations to start now!” But talks have been underway for months among Republicans, Democrats and his his own aides.

Costs on non-military lines will never come down if we do not elect more Republicans in the 2018 Election, and beyond. This Bill is a BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Dem votes. Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
Trump signed the $320 billion package Friday morning that reopened the government through March 23, raised the debt limit, provides an additional $300 for defense and domestic programs over two years, and allocates relief dollars for hurricane and wildfire victims. Now flush with cash, the federal government can resume normal operations after the second shutdown of the Trump presidency.

The budget deal features what White House aides in recent days have called “priorities” for Trump: a two-year raising of spending caps; more money for the Pentagon, and extending the borrowing limit hike into next year.

“Our Military will now be stronger than ever before,” Trump wrote in the tweet.

Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
In a second tweet posted just after, Trump said the GOP was forced to hike spending on “things we do not like” – meaning for many domestic programs prized by Democratic members – in order to boost military spending.
He also reiterated his call for voters to elect more Republicans to avoid that down the road.

Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
The president mostly kept his hands clean in the weeks-long talks to fashion the bipartisan budget deal. In recent days, White House aides did not describe Trump as heavily involved in getting the massive package through both chambers; they did not describe him as working the phones and, unlike in the past, members of Congress were not brought to the White House for some presidential arm-twisting or eleventh-hour negotiations.

Instead, Trump and his senior staff have spent much of the days in the run-up to the six-hour shutdown dealing with the fallout from a domestic abuse scandal involving former Staff Secretary Rob Porter. Trump himself has been silent on the matter, but Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah on Thursday admitted White House officials could have handled the affair better.

Seventy-three House Democrats helped push the spending package over the finish line around 5:30 a.m. Friday even after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., refused to give them a guarantee he would hold a floor vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, immigration program.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and others had pushed for Ryan to bring bipartisan and conservative immigration bills to the floor under a rule known as “queen of the hill.” That process would allow the bill receiving the most votes above a simple-majority threshold to prevail.

The most Ryan would give them was an assurance he will bring immigration legislation to the floor that Trump would sign into law.

Trump signed an executive order in September that would terminate the DACA program, which protects 690,000 people from deportation, on March 5 unless Congress sends him a bill legalizing it in some form.

— Niels Lesniewski and Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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rollcall.com · by John T. Bennett · February 9, 2018

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