In a press conference on Friday afternoon, President Trump announced that he had signed Congress’ omnibus spending bill, despite a threatening a veto a few hours earlier. But he wanted Congress to know that he was very mad at them and would never do this again!
In speaking about the “ridiculous situation” that took place over the last week, in which members of Congress “get together and they put together a series of documents that nobody’s been able to read,” Trump nevertheless concluded that “we had no choice but to fund our military.” In other words Trump, like Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and hundreds of Republican members of Congress and senators, signed off on domestic spending increases they didn’t want in order to secure a military spending boost. They all made the same choice, for the same reason.
Trump did say, however, that he “will never sign another bill like this again.” He reiterated his support for eliminating the 60-vote filibuster, which allows the Senate minority to block individual appropriations bills passed by the House majority and, instead, strike bipartisan deals that are usually resolved by tossing more money to all stakeholders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thus far has resisted pressure from the president and House members to eliminate the filibuster.
Trump also called for a line-item veto, which would allow him to veto individual provisions within bills. It’s not unusual for Trump, or any president, to want a line-item veto. Congress will never give it to him.
Trump also delivered his usual fabrications about how Democrats didn’t want to protect DACA beneficiaries. Several times, though, the offer was on the table: Trump could get his full, $25 billion wall, if he’d offer a path to citizenship for the full Dreamer population. Trump could never accept this, though, insisting instead an extra element of either sharp cuts to illegal immigration or an expansion of interior enforcement powers. He got $641 million and 33 miles of see-through physical barriers in this bill, and that’s the last such “wall” monies he may ever get.
This will not be the last omnibus appropriations bill he signs.