What a difference 48 hours makes. Here's President Donald Trump on Wednesday, tweeting about the $1.3 trillion ominbus spending deal:
Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
Between then and now, after announcing John Bolton will be his new national security advisor and also insisting he could take former Vice President Joe Biden in a fight (Biden started it, Mom!), he seems to have changed his tune:
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been jeopardized because Trump insists on trying to use it as leverage to fund the border wall and push through other anti-immigration policies.
Wednesday's tweet seemed like an acknowledgment from Trump that he wasn't going to get everything he wanted all at once. The border wall's initial funding reminds me of the high-speed rail construction in California. They only have a tiny portion of what they need to build the unnecessary boondoggle, but they figure once it gets started they'll get more money.
Those fiscally responsible conservatives of the House Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Trump asking him to veto the $1.3 trillion spending bill. Oh, wait—scratch "fiscally responsible." They want him to veto the omnibus because it doesn't provide enough money to build the wall:
Members of the @freedomcaucus sent the below letter to the WH:
"Mr. President, we urge you to remember the countless forgotten men and women of America who placed their faith in you to change business as usual in Washington, D.C. We urge you to join us and reject this omnibus." pic.twitter.com/eO0B1PfCYl
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) March 22, 2018
Congress recessed with the assumption that Trump would sign the bill, The Wall Street Journal notes. If he vetoes the legislation, the federal government will run out of funding at midnight.
There are much better reasons to veto the omnibus than the terrible border wall (which will not work). Eric Boehm noted yesterday all the ridiculous spending in the bill. I also noted legislation embedded deep into the spending bill that would weaken citizens' data privacy and potentially subject them to more secret government surveillance, and not just from the American government. Those concerns do not seem to be playing in the president's mind. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: At a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Trump announced he was signing the bill, but he's not happy about it. He insisted that the spending was necessary to "rebuild" a "depleted military." He said he would not sign omnibus bills like this in the future. He also called on the Senate to get rid of filibuster rules so bills could move forward with a simple majority. He also called on Congress to give him the authority of a line-item veto.