President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday in order to keep the federal government operating. The bill notably omitted a provision that protects the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In an attempt to reassure the worried beneficiaries of the program, the president claimed the Republicans are working to reach a resolution that would satisfy the Dreamers.
During a speech following the signing of the spending bill, Trump argued that the Democrats had refused to include legal protections for the young undocumented immigrants in the proposed measure.
“The Republicans are with you. They want to get your situation taken care of,” Trump stated. “The Democrats fought us. They fought every single inch of the way. They did not want DACA in this bill.”
“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 continued, accusing the Democrats of siding with “Hispanics” for political gain.
Trump’s comments seem to gloss over the fact that he was considering a veto of the legislation just hours before the signing. He had vented frustrations that the bill did not properly resolve the “fates” of the DACA recipients and lacked the funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Of course, this is not the first time Trump has made claims that Democrats opposed resolving DACA’s issues, but it was the Trump administration that backed rescinding the program.
Democrats have deemed Trump’s proposals about illegal immigration “poison pills” that they cannot support.
Trump had also excoriated Congress for passing the spending bill in the first place. He stated that he agreed to sign to boost defense spending, adding that he had “no choice.”
“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 said. “I said to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again.”
The legislation, which was filled with compromises, is largely a product of a narrow Republican majority in Congress. Interestingly, the president suggested that Congress give him “line-item veto” powers for government spending bills. The US Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 1998.
The signing of the bill effectively prevented another government shutdown.
H/T: The Hill