- President Donald Trump reportedly had a terse reply to White House aides who warned him of the repercussions of not signing the $US1.3 trillion government spending bill on Friday.
- “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.
- Trump signed the bill.
Days before he signed the $US1.3 trillion government spending bill on Friday, President Donald Trump reportedly had a terse reply to White House aides who warned of the potential blowback if he failed to sign the bill.
“F–k that,” Trump said, according to people familiar with the matter cited by the The Wall Street Journal. Trump was reportedly reacting to a reminder that a budget deadline loomed at midnight on Friday, and he would be blamed if the federal government were to shut down again.
The optics wouldn’t be good since the shutdown would have occurred during a planned visit to his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to The Journal.
Trump eventually signed the bill, but not before holding a press conference on Friday during which he criticised the process.
Trump previously assured lawmakers he would sign the bill, but then took a step back with a tweet Friday morning, saying he was “considering a veto,” citing the lack of funding for his US-Mexico border wall. Ultimately, he said he was compelled to sign “as a matter of National Security.”
The omnibus bill includes $US1.6 billion in additional funding for border security but would only allow for fencing similar to what already exists along the border – nothing that would resemble Trump’s envisioned wall.
Additionally, the bill does not include a codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program – a program that protects 700,000 unauthorised immigrants who came to the US as children from being deported.
“There are a lot of things that I am unhappy about in this bill – there are a lot of things we shouldn’t have been in this bill,” Trump said. “But I say to Congress: I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again.
“Nobody read it. It’s only hours old. Some people don’t even know what’s in it,” Trump said, referring to the 2,232-page bill that was released on Wednesday night and passed in the Senate on Thursday evening.
Lawmakers from both parties expressed worries about the legislation.
Bob Bryan contributed to this report.