Trump signs $1.3T omnibus spending bill after earlier veto threat: 'I will never sign another bill like this again'

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump signed Congress' newly passed $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday, ending suspense over a surprising threat he made hours earlier to veto the budget and shut down the federal government.

In the latest episode of the Republican president throwing his White House, Congress and the federal government off balance, Trump had threatened in an early morning tweet to kill the government funding deal.

Initially, it had been a foregone conclusion that Trump would sign the bill ahead of a midnight deadline to keep the government running.

Trump used the threat to draw attention to his displeasure about immigration issues, although he said the bill would boost funding to the military, one of his top priorities.

"There are a lot of things I'm unhappy about in this bill," he told reporters, patting the more than 2,000 pages of the bill stacked on a purple box beside him in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.

"I will never sign another bill like this again," he said. "Nobody read it. It's only hours old."

RELATED: High-profile congressional Republicans

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High-profile Congressional Republicans
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High-profile Congressional Republicans
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Senator Lindsey Graham
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
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The tweeted veto threat had caught Trump's own aides by surprise, as well as lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Senate and House of Representatives, who had already left Washington for a scheduled two-week spring recess. Trump himself was scheduled on Friday to fly to Florida for a weekend at his private resort.

It was unclear how seriously Republican leaders took Trump's shutdown threat and neither Speaker Paul Ryan nor Senate Leader Mitch McConnell commented publicly on it.

Trump has been frustrated that Congress has not turned over funding to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill includes $1.6 billion for six month's of work on the project but he had sought $25 billion for it.

Trump also has been at odds with Democrats in Congress over the fate of Dreamer immigrants - those brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives work permits to the Dreamers and protects them from deportation. The decision is currently tied up in court cases.

He offered to extend the protections, tied to a sweeping set of changes to immigration laws, but subsequently rejected bipartisan offers from lawmakers.

As the six-month spending deal was coming together, there had been reports Trump had balked at the deal and had to be persuaded by Ryan to support it.

The Conservative wing of Trump's party had panned the bill because of its spending increases and some deficit hawks cheered Trump's threat to veto it. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Steve Holland; additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Amanda Becker, Susan Heavey and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)

RELATED: Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle

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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
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Members past and present of President Trump's inner circle
Hope Hicks: Former White House Director of Strategic Communications
Melania Trump: Wife to President Trump and first lady of the United States
Gary Cohn: Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council
Michael Flynn: Former National Security Advisor, no longer with the Trump administration
Ivanka Trump: First daughter and presidential adviser
Gen. John Kelly: Former Secretary of Homeland Security, current White House chief of staff
Steve Bannon: Former White House chief strategist, no longer with the Trump administration
Jared Kushner: Son-in-law and senior adviser
Kellyanne Conway: Former Trump campaign manager, current counselor to the president
Reince Priebus: Former White House chief of staff, no longer with the Trump administration
Anthony Scaramucci: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: White House press secretary
Donald Trump Jr.: First son to President Trump
Sean Spicer: Former White House press secretary, soon to be no longer with the Trump administration
Jeff Sessions: U.S. attorney general
Steve Mnuchin: Secretary of Treasury
Paul Manafort: Former Trump campaign chairman
Carter Page: Former foreign policy adviser to Trump's presidential campaign
Omarosa Manigault: Former Director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison
Jason Miller: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Mike Dubke: Former White House communications director, no longer with the Trump administration
Stephen Miller: Trump senior policy adviser
Corey Lewandowski: Former Trump campaign manager
Eric Trump: Son to President Trump
Rex Tillerson: Former Secretary of State
Sebastian Gorka: Former deputy assistant to the president in the Trump administration, no longer in his White House role
Roger Stone: Former Trump campaign adviser, current host of Stone Cold Truth
Betsy DeVos: U.S. Education Secretary
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