Wednesday, March 28, 2018

President Trump Signs Spending Bill

Drew Thies

President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill Friday after threatening to veto the legislation, averting a government shutdown with just hours to spare.

Both chambers of Congress worked late into the night on Thursday to whip votes on the massive spending deal. The deal language of the 2,232-page piece of legislation was publicly available for less than a day before lawmakers voted.

Concerns lingered over the Senate’s ability to move the bill to the president’s desk before the Friday night deadline. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he opposed the legislation and used delay tactics earlier this year to force a short-term shutdown. In the end, the Kentucky Senator opposed the measure but allowed it to move off the Senate floor.

The Senate sent the bill to the President’s desk early Friday morning only for Trump to tweet hours later that he was considering vetoing the bipartisan agreement over immigration provisions. The president was upset by the lack of funding for a border wall and provisions dealing with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Trump ultimately signed the legislation to keep the government open and funded through September, but said in a press conference after the signing that he would like to be allowed line-item veto authority and for the Senate to amend rules to weaken the filibuster.

No significant changes to Medicare or Medicaid policy were included in the legislation. The bill was largely seen as the last major piece of legislation that will need to pass Congress prior to the November midterm elections.

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