Congress passes omnibus spending bill; Trump agrees to sign after veto threat

Editor's note: This story has been updated following President Trump's announcement that he will sign the spending package.

The House and Senate have passed the 2018 omnibus spending bill—which includes funding for several key healthcare programs—and though the president threatened to veto the plan Friday morning, he reluctantly agreed to sign the bill later in the day.

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that he is "considering" a veto because the spending bill does not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and it lacks the funding he wants for a wall on the Mexican border. 

However, Friday afternoon he agreed to sign the bill, because it would increase military spending, something he has championed. 

"There's a lot of things I'm unhappy about in this bill. There's a lot of things we should have had in this bill," Trump said at press conference. "We were, in a sense, forced [to sign] if we wanted to build our military."

Trump said he would not sign another bill that passed so tight to its deadline, and called for Congress to give him "line item veto power" for future spending bills. 

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 65-32 after a heated session stretched into the early hours on Friday. Politico reported that objections from Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, dragged the negotiations on into the night.

Paul "live-tweeted" the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, critiquing the about 600 pages of the nearly 2,200-page legislation. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that some of his GOP colleagues were unhappy with the spending bill, according to the article. 

"My principle responsibility is begging, pleading and cajoling," McConnell said. "I have been in continuous discussions, shall I say, with several of our members who were legitimately unhappy." 

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The spending bill, which was unveiled Wednesday night, covers a number of healthcare programs. It includes a significant boost in funding for research at the National Institutes of Health and allocates more than $4 billion to be spent on programs targeting the opioid epidemic. 

Left out of the spending plan, however, were fixes intended to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. Bipartisan talks that began last year were derailed in the past couple of weeks by a dispute over language related to abortion

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The House passed the spending plan Thursday afternoon in a 256-167 vote, with conservatives in that chamber also raising concern about the lack of funding for Trump's border wall, as well as the fact that the bill does not defund Planned Parenthood or sanctuary cities. 

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told The Hill that the fact that 25 Republicans voted against the bill is emblematic of its issues. The caucus didn't take an official position on the spending plan, but he said that if it had, it's likely more GOP representatives would have defected. 

"I think the number 25 is significant in that any majority in the House needs to control the last 25 votes," Meadows said.