Greg Nash

President Trump on Wednesday threw his support behind a $1.3 trillion spending bill, defying House conservatives and handing a victory to GOP congressional leaders.

The White House announced Trump’s backing after he discussed the proposed deal with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“The president and the leaders discussed their support for the bill, which includes more funds to rebuild the military, such as the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, more than 100 miles of new construction for the border wall and other key domestic priorities, like combatting the opioid crisis and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.{mosads}

A White House official later added that Trump “intends to sign the bill,” calling it a “step in the right direction.”

The legislation could be released later on Wednesday, and the House could vote on it as soon as Thursday. 

Congress must pass a new spending bill by midnight Friday in order to avoid a government shutdown. 

The White House statement cleared up uncertainty surrounding Trump’s support for the proposal, which appeared be in doubt on Wednesday morning. 

Ryan made an impromptu visit to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the plan with Trump. Vice President Pence, chief of staff John Kelly and legislative affairs director Marc Short, who has been deeply involved in the talks, all joined the 45-minute meeting in the White House residence. 

McConnell participated by phone.

Ryan spokesman Doug Andres told reporters that the group “had a good conversation about the wins delivered for the president, and he is supportive of the bill.”

The legislation is said to include $641 million for 33 miles of new border fencing — but not a concrete wall — and also is expected to include $1.296 billion in funding new border technology, sources said.

The White House has demanded $1.6 billion in funding for the president’s proposed border wall, a fight that had thrown a wrench into the spending negotiations in the days leading up to the deadline.

A massive rail tunnel project in the New York area is also expected to receive $541 million, over Trump’s objections.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who are allied with Trump, had urged the president to reject the deal, saying it failed to deliver key wins for Republicans.

“I would just say Planned Parenthood gets money, the unconstitutional Fix NICS program gets money, the Gateway project gets money, the American taxpayer gets a trillion deficit, and no money for the wall,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former caucus leader, said Wednesday.

The Fix NICS Act is a bill that is intended to strengthen the national instant criminal background check system for gun purchases. It has received bipartisan support in the aftermath of last month’s Florida school shooting. 

Updated at 3:29 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Government spending Jim Jordan John Kelly Mitch McConnell omnibus Paul Ryan White House
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