President Donald Trump held a ceremony at The White House on Friday to mark the signing of the second largest Omnibus Spending Bill to have ever been passed by Congress, despite his late morning threats of possibly vetoing the excessive piece of legislation.
President Trump issued the following tweet on Friday morning at 8:55 am:
“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in the bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.”
President Trump signaled his dismay in the $1.3 trillion spending measure however, stated that his concerns over military readiness as the pivotal reason why he acquiesced and endorsed the legislation. “Therefore as a matter of national security, I’ve signed the omnibus budget bill. There are a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill. But I say to Congress, I will never sign a bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again,” stated President Trump.
“To prevent the omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line item veto for all government spending bills,” said President Trump. “And the Senate must end, they must end, the filibuster rule and get down to work,” he added. Neither of these requests will likely come to fruition as Democrats vehemently “resist” anything President Trump calls for and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated he is not interested in ending the filibuster rule.
Many conservatives are rather upset by the President’s decision to sign a piece of legislation designed to hamstring his agenda for the next six months. The President was able to secure $1.6 billion for border security however, that money is appropriated with stringent constraints as to what it can be spent on. For example, the bill explicitly states the money allotted to border security is not to be spent on a wall that resembles any of the prototypes that President Trump ordered to be built and recently examined.
Some conservatives are pleased with the President and were thrilled about the $655 billion allotted to military spending. The additional spending will add 14 new ships to our Navy’s fleet including an aircraft carrier, the Air Force will add 56 F-35s, the Army receives 17 Apache helicopters and 11 Lakota helicopters, the Marine Corps will receive 24 vertical-landing F-35Bs, and the Coast Guard will receive a much needed and long-requested Ice Breaker.
The Omnibus Spending Bill also allowed $4 billion to be allotted to fight the opioid epidemic though, the Administration initially requested $6 billion. The money will be spread across the various state and federal agencies currently charged with tackling the epidemic. The fight to end the opiate epidemic has been long viewed as a bipartisan issue with both sides of the isle offering solutions to address the matter.
Democrats were able to increase funding for Planned Parenthood to $500 million, a number many conservatives will be busy explaining to constituents. Both Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) cited the funding for Planned Parenthood as a major reason as to why they voted against the measure. Senator Paul also cited excessive federal spending and the lack of fiscal responsibility as another hallmark reason for his “no” vote.
Democrats were also able to double the funding for the Community Development Block Grant Program from $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion. President Trump in the past has suggested eliminating the Community Development Block Grant Program stating the program was created 20 years prior to help jump-start a now bustling industry. The Administration also cited the staggering cost of $35.79 billion as a result of the tax exempt status many credit unions are able to claim under the Community Development Block Grant Program.
Needless to say, many people among President Trump’s base are not pleased with how Republicans were rolled here. Nor are they happy that President Trump did not veto this “bust” of a bill.
President Trump stated that the military is for all Americans; Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. However this spending bill strongly suggests otherwise. Democrats negotiated against an increase in military funding in order to secure capital for their agenda items, many of which primarily favor their voter base. While Republicans argued for military spending to keep all Americans safe Democrats argued for measures that would specifically satisfy their voter base while alienating the Republican base. All tax payers are left with a 1.3 trillion dollar bill that will likely increase over time as interest is factored into the equation.
Yes. Republicans got rolled in this negotiation. Not to say the increase in military spending is not a good thing, in fact it’s a great. But the military is for the protecting the United States and benefits all political parties and all citizens.
In essence, Republicans argued for measures that would protect all Americans while Democrats argued for capital to satisfy programs their voter base benefit from. Democrats got a big first place trophy while Republicans got a participation trophy.
President Trump stated that he would never sign a bill like the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill again and he had better ensure that promise is kept. Today marks the first true disappointment he delivered to the vast majority of his base. The next issue on the agenda could very well be a stand-alone infrastructure bill and that piece of legislation must fund the bulk of President Trump’s long promised border wall. If construction for the wall has not started on the southern border before the November 2018 mid-term elections then Republicans could very well lose the majority in the House of Representatives, which does not bode well for President Trump come 2019.