- President Donald Trump congratulated Congress for passing a two-year budget agreement on Friday, painting the massive bill as a win for the military.
- Trump also decried the inclusion of a substantial non-defence spending increase, saying that for the GOP to control costs more Republicans need to be elected to office.
President Donald Trump applauded the passage of a bipartisan budget deal to break the short-lived government shutdown, but also bemoaned some of the deal’s increased spending.
Trump tweeted early Friday that he had signed the budget deal to reopen the government, a little more than eight hours after the shutdown technically began.
“Just signed Bill,” Trump said. “Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything – and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”
Included in the bill was a roughly $US300 billion increase in spending for defence and non-defence programs over the next two years, another $US90 billion in disaster-relief funding for places like Texas and Puerto Rico, and extensions to parts of the tax code and programs in Medicare.
The massive nature of the deal perturbed some conservative Republicans because of concerns about the federal deficit. GOP Sen. Rand Paul to blocked a vote on the bill for six hours, causing the brief shutdown as the vote slipped past midnight.
Trump echoed those concerns but said that in order to secure Democratic votes for the package, more spending “on things we do not like or want” was necessary.
“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military,” Trump said. “Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!”
Democrats were needed on the package since the GOP only holds 51 seats in the Senate, meaning Democrats in the chamber could have filibustered.
In the House, 67 Republicans voted against the package, citing the increased spending on non-defence programs, while another 119 Democrats voted against it because it did not include codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.
In a follow-up tweet, Trump addressed both concerns. He said electing more Republicans would be necessary to controlling non-defence costs, and he said the debate over DACA will kick off now that the funding agreement is passed.
“Costs on non-military lines will never come down if we do not elect more Republicans in the 2018 Election, and beyond,” Trump said. “This Bill is a BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Dem votes. Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!”
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