Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump, after threatening veto, signs budget bill

Washington, Mar 23 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Friday signed the $1.3 trillion budget bill passed by Congress just hours after hinting that he might veto the measure.

“There are a lot of things I’m unhappy about in this bill. There are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill, but we were in a sense forced if we want to build our military,” Trump told a hastily arranged press conference at the White House.

He accused Democrats of demanding increases in domestic programs as the price for approving extra money for the Pentagon, while complaining about the length (2,232 pages) and complexity of the legislation.

“I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again,” the president continued.

The real estate mogul again blamed the Democrats for the absence from the bill of a measure to resolve the situation of the Dreamers: the roughly 800,000 young undocumented migrants protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, launched in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama.

Trump announced an end to the DACA program last September, saying Obama’s executive order was unconstitutional and that he was providing a six-month window for Congress to enact a legislative solution.

Since then, lawmakers from both parties have floated proposals to help the Dreamers while also addressing the president’s demands for a wall on the Mexican border and for imposing significant restrictions on legal immigration.

Trump has rejected all of those initiatives.

“The Republicans are with you, they want to get your situation taken care of,” the president said Friday, addressing DACA recipients. “The Democrats fought us, they just fought every single inch of the way. They did not want DACA in this bill.”

The budget Trump signed includes $1.6 billion for the start of construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, one of his chief campaign promises.

That is far short of the $25 billion the White House had initially requested.

“We looked at a veto, I looked very seriously at the veto. I was thinking about doing the veto, but because of the incredible gains we’ve been able to make for the military, that overrode any of our thinking,” Trump said after signing the bill, which funds the government through the end of September, the end of the 2018 fiscal year.