US President Donald Trump on Sunday, March 25, tweeted from his lavish Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to defend his signing a $1.3 trillion federal spending bill on Friday, March 23, to reopen the federal government which faced a partial shutdown for the second time in less than one month.
Although Trump signed the bill grudgingly for there were items in the deal that he did not want, he defended it mentioning the billions that went to the military and national security. According to him, it is because of the massive military funding that more jobs were created and the military became richer. He also made a mention of the border wall with Mexico saying it was all about national defence.
Trump glorifies the nationalist aspect of the bill
This defence could be Trump's own way of dealing with the backlash he faced from the conservatives who accused him of surrendering before the congressional Democrats by signing the deal. Trump said he himself was not pleased with the package because it did not fully pay for the border wall he has been eyeing for long but he was helpless to sign it because funding the military was key for the country.
Trump had sought a whopping $25 billion for the border wall but the plan spoke of just $1.6 billion for setting up new sections and replacing the older ones. The president, however, exhibited his non-relenting mood on Sunday saying much could be done with the amount and that it was just a "down payment".
The US president also took a dig at the Democrats accusing them of abandoning young immigrants who are need of protections. He said the bill could not protect them because of an inappropriate coverage under a program that he wanted to get rid of.
US president caught between the devil and deep blue sea
Trump's dilemma was evident as, on the one hand, his threat of a veto displeased the administration and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan while on the other, the conservatives did not support the mammoth spending plan, saying it would only make America's debts heavier.
The president nevertheless warned the Congress that he would not sign a similar bill. He also requested the Congress to give him a line-item veto to see his preferences prevail but as per a Supreme Court verdict in 1998, a congressionally passed line-item veto lacked constitutional validity.
That Trump as an outsider in the political circles is finding it difficult to unite all interests became amply clear in this federal funding spending bill signing episode. The president, lost in the maze of administrative politics, therefore found the easier solution to justify his position: to glorify the nationalistic fervour in the bill as that guarantees universal acceptance.