Trump signs spending bill to avoid government shutdown, despite frustrations over border wall

FAN Editor

President Donald Trump on Friday signed a spending bill that will avert a government shutdown despite previously calling the measure “ridiculous” because it did not include funding for a wall along the southern border.

A source familiar with the matter told CNBC that Trump had signed the bill.

There had been some doubts about whether the president would sign the bill, raising the specter that funding for the government would lapse as early as Monday. But Trump had tamped down on concerns from top Republicans in recent weeks, pledging that he would “keep the government open.”

Trump had blasted the spending package, which will fund the departments of Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services for a year, because it did not include money for his proposed border wall. In July, the president brushed off the prospect of a shutdown.

“If we don’t get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” Trump said at a news conference at the time.

The president appeared to double down on his pledge to obtain border wall spending as recently as late September.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms,” Trump wrote in a Sept. 20 post on Twitter.

The insistence earned pushback from Republican congressional leaders who worried a shutdown could hurt the party with just over a month left to go before November’s hotly contested midterm elections, when the GOP will face down challenges to its control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“I’m confident he will sign it,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday. “This funds our military, this funds opioids, this does a lot of the things that we all want to accomplish together, and we’ve had very good conversations with the president.”

On Thursday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney also weighed in, telling CNBC that the president would table border wall funding until after the midterms.

“We’ve decided to have that discussion after the election,” Mulvaney said on “Squawk Box.”

— CNBC’s Eamon Javers, Jacob Pramuk and Matthew Belvedere contributed to this report.

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