Trump Admin. Threatened Veto Over Ukraine Aid Language In Spending Bill
The Trump administration threatened a presidential veto this week if Democrats failed to strip language from the spending bill that required prompt release of future military aid for Ukraine, according to administration and congressional sources who spoke with The Washington Post.
Democrats ultimately agreed to the change, sparing Americans from another potential government shutdown.
At issue was a provision that “would have required the White House to swiftly release $250 million in defense money for Ukraine that was part of the spending package.”
In hopes of avoiding another situation like the one that sparked the impeachment inquiry, House Democrats included language that would have “required the White House Office of Management and Budget to sign off on and release Pentagon funding for Ukraine within 45 days.” However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made clear in recent days that the provision was one of several that would be deal breakers for the president.
“We made crystal clear that no restriction on the president’s apportionment powers would be acceptable to him regardless of topic,” Ueland told The Post on Friday. “And through a lot of negotiation and work back and forth, the administration and Congress were able to reach an appropriate outcome on that issue.”
He added that the issue was not specifically about Ukraine but “to protect executive branch authorities over how the White House handles funding streams that have been approved by Congress.”
Administration officials said Trump would sign the $1.4 trillion spending package by midnight, avoiding another shutdown.