By Corey Blackman
President Donald Trump signed a $400 billion budget deal Friday that ended an hours-long government shutdown.
“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!,” Trump tweeted shortly after signing the legislation.
He sent a successive tweet to try to deflect attention from the massive spending increases he signed into law that he and Republicans railed against during former President Barack Obama’s time in office.
“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military,” he said.
The bill includes $300 billion additional spending on the military and domestic agencies. It also raises the country’s debt ceiling that prevents a first-ever default by the federal government.
The House of Representatives passed the bill in a 240-186 vote to end the shutdown in the wee hours of the morning while most Americans were asleep.
The Senate had already approved the bipartisan spending legislation that will extend funding to the government through March 23 and boost disaster aid funding by around $90 billion for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that were battered by hurricanes last year.
The spending spikes were passed on the heels of a massive $1.5 trillion tax break passed last month. Combined with the lower tax revenues from those cuts, raising the debt ceiling and the increased spending, economists are concerned the federal deficit will break the $1 trillion barrier sometime during the next fiscal year.
Republican Senator Rand Paul, who made a career of denouncing Obama’s spending, stuck to his fiscal conservative guns and attacked the bill from the chamber’s floor.
“I ran for office because I was very critical of President Obama’s trillion-dollar deficits,” he said. “Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits. I can’t in all honesty look the other way,”
The brief shutdown follows a three-day shutdown last month that came about because of many of the same spending and social issues.
Missing from the deal was a plan to protect an estimated 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. as children without proper documentation.
Their fate was thrown into limbo last September after Trump rescinded Obama’s immigration policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). He gave Congress until early March to produce a replacement.
But Trump signaled Friday that talks on DACA would begin.
“Fortunately, DACA not included in this bill, negotiations to start now!” he tweeted.