National Association of Government Contractors


President Signs Spending Bill, Notes Objections

President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation this past week, a $1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September.

The bill passed both houses of Congress this week and Trump signed it into law prior to the deadline for government operations to begin shutting down.

In the series of compromises that led to the passage of the spending bill Republicans touted the $15 billion in additional Pentagon spending obtained by Trump, as well as $1.5 billion in emergency spending for border security. However, no allocations for the wall Trump has vowed to build along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration.

Trump signed the bill despite his objections to numerous provisions included in the measure. One such provision prohibits the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories.

In a statement that accompanied the signed bill and that laid out Trump's objections, he reserved the right to ignore the provision. He held out the possibility that the administration could pursue legal action against states and territories that legalize marijuana for medical use.

Trump also objects to provision governing the transfer of prisoners held at a U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the White House said his objection should not be seen as a shift in policy, but as a statement of his view that the provision could conflict with his constitutional authority and duties in some circumstances.

Republicans and Democrats who negotiated the spending bill in recent days had successfully defended other accounts Trump had targeted for spending cuts, such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts and economic development grants, among others.

The sweeping, 1,665-page bill also increases spending for NASA, medical research, and the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies.

In other areas, retired union coal miners won a $1.3 billion provision to preserve health benefits for more than 22,000 retirees. House Democrats won funding to give Puerto Rico's cash-strapped government $295 million to help ease its Medicaid burden.



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