President Donald Trump suggested that he might not sign a bipartisan $1.3 trillion funding bill that would keep the U.S. government open after midnight on March 23, despite earlier assurances that he supported the legislation.
"I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded," Trump tweeted on March 23, hours before the government is set to shut down.
The U.S. House passed the funding package the afternoon of March 22. The U.S. Senate approved the bill hours later, sending it to the president's desk. Members of Congress are set to leave Washington, D.C., for spring recess on March 23.
A government shutdown in February 2018 was precipitated by procedural maneuvers from Rand Paul, R-Ky., who was able to delay voting until after Congress missed its deadline to restore funding. Once time ran out on Paul's procedural stall, the Senate voted to pass a version of a funding package, which the House subsequently cleared, sending it to Trump's desk for his signature. That shutdown lasted just a few hours.
The government shutdown in January of 2018 lasted three days and ended when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assured Senate Democrats that the chamber would debate and vote on a series of immigration proposals. Democrats hoped the effort would provide a solution for the DACA population — beneficiaries of an Obama-era policy that Trump rescinded, which shielded from deportation undocumented individuals who were brought into the United States as children. The subsequent immigration debate failed to produce legislation that would garner sufficient support to clear the Senate.
Analysis from S&P Global Ratings released before Congress voted on a funding bill indicated a government shutdown could cost the U.S. government about $6.5 billion annualized in first-quarter growth, or 0.2 percentage point, for every week the government is closed.
"While the February shutdown lasted a few hours (when most people in the U.S. were sleeping), the federal government already closed for what amounted to a long weekend in January," a news release from the rating agency notes. "For a $19.7 trillion economy, the associated price tag may be considered by some to be chump change, but whether dollars or cents, it still is a needless cost to the U.S. economy."
The White House had not provided additional comment concerning the president's tweet at the time of publication, though Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is scheduled to give an on-camera briefing at 1 p.m. ET.
Republican and Democratic congressional leaders supported the bill as a fair compromise, with both sides receiving funding for initiatives important to them. Republicans touted increased defense funding and pay raises for members of the armed forces, while Democrats secured funding increases for social initiatives like affordable housing.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.