President Donald Trump threatened Friday to veto the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress, citing concerns that the legislation does not include a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or sufficient funding for a border wall.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
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.
“He doesn’t like it,” the official said, who described the President’s mood as “venting” more than seriously considering a veto.
Spotted in the West Wing Friday morning, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short did not appear alarmed by the President’s tweet.
“I think we’ll be OK,” he told CNN.
Top White House officials had previously said he would sign the bill. Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters on 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.
“Is it perfect? No,” 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.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday that he spoke to Trump, adding that the President was on board with funding levels for border security included in the spending package.
Later that day, Vice President Mike Pence touted that border wall funding during a trip to New Hampshire.
“With $1.6 billion included in the spending bill that arrives on President Trump’s desk tomorrow, we’re going to start to build that wall,” he said to applause.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who voted against the bill, tweeted his support for Trump’s veto threat.
“Please do, Mr. President. I am just down the street and will bring you a pen. The spending levels without any offsets are grotesque, throwing all of our children under the bus. Totally irresponsible,” he said.
The bill would increase funding for the military and domestic spending and keep the government funded through the end of September.
The President was not deeply engaged in the spending bill process, spending far more time this week focused on other matters.
The Senate passed the bill 65-32 after a whirlwind day where at least two Republican senators held up the legislative process, making it unclear whether the bill could pass before the Friday deadline and avert a government shutdown.
The House passed the legislation earlier Thursday, voting 256-167 with Democrats and Republicans coming together to back it less than 24 hours after the 2,300-page bill was made public.
The massive spending package marks the end of a months-long funding stalemate in which lawmakers were forced to pass one short-term spending bill after another, but it’s now unclear whether the President will sign it ahead of the government shutdown deadline at midnight.