Conservative commentator Ann Coulter harshly criticized President Trump for signing a $1.3 trillion spending bill last week that didn’t include funding for a wall along the southern border if the United States.
“I can’t see any way to sugarcoat what a disaster this is. I mean there are twenty-four Republicans in the Senate who voted against the omnibus spending bill and about half of them did it for the right reasons, like Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue and Ron Johnson and a few others, so you know, maybe we can run them for President,” Coulter said.
“But there was only one guy who said at every speech, at every rally, for two years that he would build the wall, and he has now signed a bill to prohibit building the wall,” she added.
Trump signed the spending bill last week that raises the budget for the Department of Defense by $80 billion, the largest increase for the Pentagon in fifteen years, including a significant 2.4% pay raise for troops. It also includes $21 billion for infrastructure projects as well as about $380 million for election-security measures. There was also additional money for FBI efforts to fight Russian cyberattacks.
What was missing from the bill was funding for the wall along the southern border. The President had previously requested $25 billion for construction of the wall and other security measures. He had lowered the for the wall to $18 billion for this budget but instead only got $1.6 billion in wall funding.
The bill calls for $641 million for fencing and other measures like levees, which are being denoted as parts of a “border wall system.” It also allocates $1.3 billion for other border security technology but does not allocate funds for detention beds or more deportation agents, which was a high-priority for Democrats in the talks.
Coulter criticized the President’s negotiating skills saying the President got nothing that either he or conservatives wanted in the bill, but Democrats got most of what they wanted. “We thought that perhaps [Trump] was not the world’s greatest negotiator but a negotiator, and we got nothing,” Coulter said.
Conservative lawmakers also blasted the bill. “This may be the worst bill I have seen in my time in Congress, the worst bill our leaders have ever allowed to come to the floor,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said. “The one thing we don’t fund is the one issue we all campaigned on, a border security wall, and that is not in the legislation.”
The criticism lead President to vow to never sign another spending bill like this one again, and to demand Congress give him line-item veto power over future spending bills. “As a matter of National Security I’ve signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills!” he wrote on Twitter.
Coulter remained unconvinced by the security argument. “There is no more crucial attack on our national defense than the fact that we don’t have a wall,” she said.