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US Congress approves $1.3 trillion spending bill despite Trump veto threat

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Snow falls at the US Capitol during a snow storm in Washington, DC, March 21, 2018. (AFP photo)

The US Congress has approved a $1.3 trillion government spending bill, and President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law, despite his unhappiness with it for not meeting his military spending and border wall requests.

Lawmakers in the Senate passed the measure on Friday in a 65-32 vote. The House of Representatives passed the legislation earlier Thursday, voting 256-167.

The measure includes an additional $80 billion in military spending, the largest increase in military funding in 15 years.

Trump had threatened to veto the bill over a lack of an immigration solution, a move that raised the specter of another government shutdown ahead of a midnight deadline to renew funding for federal agencies.

 “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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump has been frustrated that Congress has not approved funding to make good on his campaign pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. The bill includes $1.6 billion for six months of work on the project, although he had sought $25 billion for it.

Trump also has been in disagreement with Democratic lawmakers in Congress over the fate of Dreamer immigrants - those brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

At the White House on Friday, many aides were caught by surprise by the veto threat and had no immediate explanation for what prompted the threat.

Some deficit hawks warned that the bill will increase the massive government debt.

“It is imperative that we curb Washington’s out-of-control spending addiction that has not been slowed under Republican rule,” said Representative Mark Walker, who heads a large group of House conservative Republicans.

Without the new spending bill, the federal government would have partially shut down, a third such closure since the beginning of 2018. The US has already had two government shutdowns this year – one in January and another in February.

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