On Friday, President Trump threatened to veto the massive omnibus package passed in both houses of Congress by Republicans. This represented a change from his statements one day beforehand, in which he endorsed the omnibus. On Thursday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called the bill flawed, but stated that the bill “funds [Trump’s] priorities.” Trump himself tweeted:
But this morning, Trump tweeted:
The Senate voted to approve the $1.3 trillion blockbuster budget by a 65-32, with Republican dissenters failing to set up procedural hurdles to passage. So, once again, Republicans have endorsed funding for Planned Parenthood, failed to fund the border wall, and ensured that pork-filled legislation remains the rule rather than the exception in Washington, D.C.
Trump is apparently having second thoughts.
Here’s the problem: what exactly does a veto threat mean after Congress has passed the budget? Trump can either veto it or not, but does he really expect Congress to go back to the drawing board without an actual veto exercise, particularly after he backed an enormous budget last year, and after he’s shifted his position on the bill so many times?
In all likelihood, this is just Trump sounding off; his own administration seems to be taken by surprise. But if he did veto the legislation, he would finally — a bit late — be exercising the sort of fiscal leadership the Republicans require from the White House.