WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump on Friday said he might veto the congressional spending bill passed earlier in the morning because it did not “fully fund” his proposed border wall, reviving the possibility of another government shutdown.
Hours after making the threat on Twitter, Trump signed the bill at the White House, but made his objections known, calling the legislation “this ridiculous situation.”
“There’s a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill,” he said Friday afternoon. “I will never sign another bill like this again.”
Trump on Friday morning took aim at Democrats for the omnibus agreement, which doesn’t include a solution for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children ― the so-called Dreamers protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
He has regularly claimed that Democrats “abandoned” Dreamers, even though he suspended DACA in September.
Trump’s tweet threatening a veto contradicted statements from White House officials earlier in the week insisting the president would sign the $1.3 trillion spending agreement to keep the government funded and operating after Friday’s deadline.
Trump had second thoughts about the agreement because of border wall funding before the deal was released, a source told HuffPost. But after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the president seemed to be on board.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president and the two congressional leaders “discussed their support for the bill.”
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Thursday was even clearer.
“Let’s cut right to the chase: Is the president going to sign the bill? The answer is yes,” Mulvaney said in briefing reporters.
Mulvaney acknowledged that Trump wants funding for his entire proposed wall, instead of money allocated for 33 miles of fencing and other border security measures. But he nevertheless celebrated the funding agreement.
“Generally speaking, we think this is a really, really good immigration package,” Mulvaney said.
Lawmakers on Friday criticized Trump, saying he’d be to blame for a government shutdown if he follows through on his veto threat.
Some, including GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.), who had sought deeper spending cuts in the agreement, encouraged a presidential veto.
Both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly approved the bill, likely assuring it a veto-proof majority.
This article has been updated to note that Trump signed the bill Friday afternoon.