Trump signs spending bill, avoiding government shutdown

Final spending bill leaves out ‘dreamers' major wall money

The House approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill Thursday to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2018 and the Senate followed suit early Friday morning, beating the shutdown deadline and leaving Republicans and Democrats to fight over credit and blame.

Trump said he was "very disappointed" in the package, in part because it did not fully fund his plans for a border wall with Mexico and did not address some 700,000 "Dreamer" immigrants who are now protected from deportation under a program that he has moved to eliminate.

He also said, "For the last eight years deep defense cuts have undermined our national security.My highest duty is to keep America safe, nothing more important".

In addition to blasting the bill, Trump admitted that virtually none of the members of Congress who voted to pass the legislation had even read it - which isn't their fault, of course, but rather the fault of GOP leaders who rammed the measure down their throats.

President Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill to keep the federal government open Friday behind closed doors, then emerged to excoriate Congress for passing the legislation in the first place.

Longtime conservative commentator and Trump loyalist Matt Drudge also took a shot at the President, emblazoning his namesake website with a scathing "FAKE VETO" banner.

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The bill passed 65-32, averting a potential government shutdown and funding the government through September 30.

The president had been especially frustrated in recent days by media coverage of the bill and by conservative Republican lawmakers, some of whom had been calling to harangue him and making their cases loudly on cable news shows he is known to watch. It was not clear if he was serious about following through with the implied threat.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the bill was not ideal, but "that's not how the process works". The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, vice chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said prior to Trump's announcement that the reaction of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to passage of the bill is telling, noting in an interview with CNBC that they were "smiling ear to ear".

Trump used the threat to draw attention to his displeasure about immigration issues, although he said the bill would boost funding to the military, one of his top priorities.

The bill allocates $1.6 billion for border security measures that the president wanted, but both sides disputed exactly how much would be dedicated to building the wall itself.

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The bill passed 62-35 in the Senate and 256-167 in the House, both short of two-thirds. But in crafting a sweeping deal that busts budget caps, they've stirred conservative opposition and set the contours for the next funding fight ahead of the midterm elections.

Trump also has been at odds with Democrats in Congress over the fate of Dreamer immigrants - those brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

The White House and Republican lawmakers and sought to strike a deal with Democrats that would have included border wall funding and provide legal status or citizenship for DACA recipients, but a deal has remained elusive. It beefs up military and domestic programs, delivering federal funds to every corner of the country. The bill runs more than 2,200 pages. "There is not a single member of congress that can actually read it".

The $1.3 trillion spending package adopted by U.S. lawmakers will significantly increase funding for the military, and keep the government funded through September. "I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again".

But the overall result has been unimaginable to many Republicans after campaigning on spending restraints and balanced budgets.

A day earlier, White House officials said Trump would sign the legislation. They will likely repeat on the next budget battle in fall.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, who chairs a state/foreign operations spending subcommittee, also secured language he had been pushing for several years that ends federal money for the Palestinian Authority until it clearly demonstrates it has stopped funding terrorist activities.

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