Trump signs spending bill that split Alaska senators
President Trump is signing the omnibus spending bill he threatened to veto only hours earlier, announcing his decision Friday after the bill drew a split Senate vote from Alaska's U.S. senators.
"There are a lot of things we shouldn't have had in this bill," Mr. Trump said, saying he would sign the $1.3 trillion measure for national security reasons.
Mr. Trump told Congress he would "never" sign such a bill again.
"I will never sign another bill like this again," Mr. Trump said. "I'm not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It's only hours old."
Alaska’s senior senator, Lisa Murkowski, was among those in favor of the bill in Thursday night’s 65-32 vote. Murkowski, the chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, hailed the bill’s arrival in the Senate on her Facebook page.
“I’m proud of the good work in this bill that will make significant strides to develop our state’s infrastructure projects, improve access to Native healthcare, and invest in our communities,” Murkowski wrote. “We empower Alaskans to build our economy and create healthy communities.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan, however, voted against the bill, conceding that it contained numerous priority items for Alaska but saying its more than 2,200 pages of text “deserves far more than 28 hours to read and review.”
“This was a difficult vote for me, in large part because the bill contained a number of Alaska-specific priorities I authored or fought for – including funding for Secure Rural Schools and the Denali Commission, investments to fight our addiction and mental health crisis, resources for water and sewer infrastructure, and necessary upgrades to our missile defense systems,” Sullivan said in a statement.
Mr. Trump shocked Washington Friday morning when he - against every indication from himself and his staff -- said he is considering vetoing the bill the Senate passed overnight.
Mr. Trump announced the "news conference" after 12:30 p.m. Friday, sending confused communications staffers scrambling. The White House soon clarified that Mr. Trump would have a press availability to take place of the White House briefing, which was scheduled for 1 p.m.
The president's threat has thrown what seemed like a done deal into a chaotic situation. Many House and Senate members have already left Washington, D.C., for the week, rendering another vote in both chambers before a shutdown impossible.
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