Trump threatens to veto bill, raising gov't shutdown risk

President Donald Trump has abandoned a threat to shut down the United States government, signing off on a budget despite being "unhappy" with many of its provisions - and warning he won't back anything similar ever again.

"F-k that", Trump reportedly said, after being reminded that a budget deadline loomed at midnight, and he would be blamed if the federal government were to shut down again.

Afterward, the president spoke at a White House event where he warned Congress he'd never sign another spending bill like this one.

Asked why he threatened to veto the bill, Trump told reporters that he had "looked very seriously" at it, but decided otherwise after considering "the incredible gains that we've been able to make for the military".

"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 wrote on Twitter.

"I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again", Trump reiterated. However, those who are eligible but were not enrolled in the program are not protected.

Trump cancelled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program that gives work permits to the Dreamers and protects them from deportation. And the DACA program is expiring because Trump moved to end the Obama-era program a year ago.

He singled out Republicans - who control the House, Senate and White House - for kicking the can down the road after eight years of preaching fiscal restraint during the Obama administration.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had reached a deal with Trump for DACA legislation in return for the wall cash that month, but Trump later backed out of the agreement.

The conservative wing of Trump's party had panned the bill because of its spending increases and some deficit hawks cheered Trump's Friday morning threat to veto it.

While the bill delivered $1.6 billion in border security funding, some of which can be used to bolster existing fencing, Trump made no secret of his dismay that the bill did not include funding for the border wall he has long sought to build.

I found it! Border security, what President Trump wanted!

But Trump decried the "ridiculous situation that took place this week", referring to the drafting of the 2,232-page omnibus, which was passed hours after being first released.

Luckily the rebellion was also quickly quelled by McConnell, and the Senate passed the bill in the early hours of Friday, leaving the president with nearly a full 24 hours to sign off on the bill.

  • Tracy Klein