Trump Considered Vetoing $1.3 Trillion Federal Budget Because it lacks DACA and Adequate Border Security Funding
This morning, while the $1.3 trillion federal omnibus budget bill was waiting to be approved by the President, Donald Trump tweeted, “I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.”
The President then proceeded to sign the bill into law hours after the tweet, approving the second most expensive budget the US government has ever had.
President Trump said although he was unhappy with the size of the budget and certain things that were included or left out of it, he was forced to sign it in order to fund the military, stating that he did so “as a matter of national security,” and that his “highest duty is to keep America safe.”
“While we’re very disappointed in the 1.3 trillion…because the number is so large… we had no choice but to fund our military,” he said.
In a press briefing held after President Trump approved the new budget, he had the Secretary of Defense General James Mattis speak about the importance of the $654.6 billion dollars in discretionary funding for national defense it included.
“In 1790 in George Washington’s first annual address to Congress, he stated ‘to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.’ As the president noted, today we received the largest military budget in history, reversing many years of decline and unpredictable funding, and together we are going to make our military stronger than ever. We in the military are humbled and grateful to the American people for their sacrifices on behalf of this funding. Now it’s our responsibility to spend every dollar wisely in order to keep the trust and the confidence of he American people and Congress,” said Mattis
In the same briefing, President Trump said that one of the things he wanted included in the omnibus bill that didn’t make it was legislation to protect DACA recipients, blaming Democrats for not wanting a realistic solution.
“DACA recipients have been treated extremely badly by the Democrats. We wanted to include DACA; we wanted to have them in this bill. 800,000 people, and actually it could even be more; and we wanted to include DACA in this bill. The Democrats would not do it,” he said.
About a week before the March 23rd date at which the omnibus budget had to be passed, the White House said it would support a deal that provided three years of continued protection from deportation for DACA recipients in exchange for three-years-worth of funding for a wall at the US-Mexico border. However, White House Spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement later that Wednesday that the Administration opposes a “three for three” deal because it would only provide a temporary solution, but that the White House has “never stopped working to negotiate an immigration reform package that addresses DACA, stops illegal immigration, and secures and modernizes our legal immigration system.”
Although the White House released its own comprehensive and provisional immigration legislation framework back in January, the president also said he would sign off any bill to legalize DREAMers that the Senate can pass with 60 votes.
The president can voice his support for DACA recipients as much as he wants, but in the end, a permanent solution will require that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle come together and legislate it.
Although DACA recipients came to America illegally, given that they came as children through no fault of their own and have been passing background checks and going to school or maintaining gainful employment for years, the great majority of Americans agree that Dreamers should be allowed to stay in America and obtain legal status. Many Americans also want more border security now so we know who and what are entering and leaving the country, and so we are not in this same situation again ten years down the road.
The president said that the omnibus package does include $1.6 billion to begin constructing “The Wall,” which is better than nothing, but not as much as the $18-25 billion he has been asking for.
“The border, we’ve worked very hard on. By any standard we have a lot of, really by any standard a lot, but not by this standard, but we’re going to make it go a long way, we have a lot of money coming to the border and it will be coming over a period of time. We funded the initial down payment of $1.6 billion. We’re going to be starting work literally on Monday, on not only some new wall…but also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences,” said the president.
Not only does this funding for border security come up short, but it makes Americans pay for the wall unlike the president promised in his campaign. The best way to fund increased border security without American taxpayers having to foot the bill is through the ID and Tax Plan.
The president concluded his briefing on the omnibus package by reassuring DACA recipients that he and Republicans are on their sides, and that although they have yet to come to an agreement with Democrats on how to legislate a permanent solution for them, negotiations will continue soon.
“I say this to DACA recipients, the Republicans are with you; they want to get your situation taken care of. The Democrats fought us, they fought every single inch of the way; they did not want DACA in this bill…DACA is tied to the wall, the major funding, $25 billion for the wall and other things, so I think that will be coming up very soon. I do want the Hispanic community to know, and DACA recipients to know, that Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats, who are using you for their own purposes,” he said.