President Donald Trump warned the U.S. Congress on Friday he “will never” sign another bill like the $1.3 trillion omnibus “again,” calling on them to give him a line-item veto. He further renewed his call for the Republican majority to end the filibuster rule, giving the U.S. Senate the ability to pass any bill with 51 votes.
“This will be the largest increase in military pay in ten years and it increases military spending by $60 bill from last year. Therefore, as a matter of national security I signed this omnibus spending bill,” he said at a press conference at the White House. “To prevent the omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on the Congress to give me a line-item veto and the filibuster must end.”
“I say this to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again.”
He said there were numerous problems with the spending bill, including the fact that “no one read it.” But he also called out Democrats for essentially holding military spending hostage to their special interest groups on K Street.
“The Democrats, who don’t believe in that [strong military], added a lot of things that nobody wants,” he said. “I keep trying to tell them that the military is for Republicans, for Democrats, for everyone. But we keep running into tremendous opposition from the Democrats.”
Historically, the filibuster was rarely used and only during the most significant pieces of legislation. However, during the Trump Administration, the Democrats in the Senate minority have used it for unprecedented obstruction, including Cabinet and agency-level confirmations.
President Trump said earlier on Twitter that he was thinking of vetoing the measure, which was passed by the U.S. Congress late last night. He cited the lack of immigration reform, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the border wall.
“DACA recipients have been treated extremely badly by the Democrats,” he said at the press conference. “We wanted to include them in the bill. The Democrats would not do it.”
If President Trump decided to veto the late-night spending bill, lawmakers would need to muster two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. The bill cleared the upper chamber 62 to 35 and the lower chamber by an even smaller 256 to 167 margin, both short of two-thirds.
The House Freedom Caucus (HFC) made it clear earlier that they “would fully support” him if he used the veto. sent him a letter on Wednesday urging him to veto the bill. But in the end, it was clear Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis convinced the president not to go with his instinct this one last time given the needed military spending.
“No ones more disappointed than me, especially because the number is so large,” he said. “But we have to fund our military.”
He spoke directly to those impacted by DACA.
“I say this to DACA recipients, the Republicans are with you. We want to take care of your situation,” he stressed “The Democrats just fought us every step of the way. They did not want you in this bill.”