President Trump signed legislation Friday comprising a $1.3 trillion omnibus budget. Screenshot photo.
President Trump on Friday signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus budget legislation, heading off a potential third government shutdown for the year and ending the extended struggle over funding the federal government for the rest of Fiscal 2018, which ends Sept. 30.
The bill, which includes $654.6 billion for the Defense Department, had passed the House Thursday and then the Senate early Friday morning. Trump signed the bill Friday after threatening to veto it in a tweet.
Trump said he signed the omnibus “as a matter of national security” because for eight years “deep defense cuts have undermined our national security.”
Though there is much in the bill he is unhappy about, Trump said he had no choice but to sign it because he wants to “build our military.” However, he admonished Congress, saying he would “never sign another bill like this again.”
“Nobody read it, it's only hours old. Some people don't even know—$1.3 trillion, it's the second largest ever,” he said, “President Obama signed one that was actually larger, which I'm sure he wasn't too happy with either.”
“But in this case,” he said, “it became so big because we need to take care of our military. And because the Democrats, who don't believe in that, added things that they wanted in order to get their votes.”
During his remarks to reporters, he made particular note of the defense funding figure, adding, “There will be nobody that says that our military is going to be depleted like they've been saying over the last long period of time. Long period of time. Frankly, beyond President Obama. That won't be happening.”
The omnibus includes $10.2 billion for 90 F-35s, including an additional 10 F-35As above the original request for the US Air Force.
“That's the most sophisticated aircraft in the world. Jet fighter. Total stealth. They're hard to find, they're hard to see, therefore they're hard to beat. It's very tough to beat a plane when you can't see it. It's the most advanced in the world."
It also includes $2.9 billion for 18 KC-46 tankers, three more than originally requested. “The tanker aircraft is very important based on everything. It allows our planes to travel anywhere in the world without landing,” noted Trump.
“So while we're very disappointed in the $1.3 trillion—nobody more disappointed than me, because the number is so large—it'll start coming down—we had no choice but to fund our military, because we have to have by far the strongest military in the world. And this will be, by far, the strongest military that we've ever had,” he said.
On the potential veto, Trump said he thought about it but decided against it.
“We looked at the veto, I looked very seriously at the veto. I was thinking about doing the veto. But because of the incredible gains that we've been able to make for the military, that overrode any of our … thinking,” he said.
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