President Trump signed into law an enormous $1.4 trillion spending package which funds the government through the end of the year and officially establishes the Space Force as sixth official branch of the military.
“With my signature today, you will witness the birth of the Space Force, and that will be now officially the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, per NBC News. “That is something really incredible.”
NBC News reports the president officially signed the pair of spending bills aboard Air Force One on his way to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays. According to the report, his signature came just before a deadline on Friday night which would have resulted in the government shutting down:
Trump’s signature on a pair of bills will fund the federal government through Sept. 30. Trump signed the bills aboard Air Force One en route to a two-week holiday trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Friday was the deadline to sign the budget bills or face having the government run out of authorized money to operate. Some Democrats who stood fast against funding Trump’s border wall gave in in exchange for expanded domestic spending, although one-third of the party’s House caucus opposed the border allocation.
The White House said the bills include $738 billion for defense, which represents a $22 billion increase over 2019; a 3.1 percent pay raise for members of the military and federal employees; $1.4 billion in “direct funding” for Trump’s new barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border; and $1.7 billion for mental health programs.
The president remarked that the military spending is “an all-time record” and “the highest amount we’ve ever spent on our military.”
ABC News adds:
Among the funds provided by the legislation are pay raises for federal workers and military personnel, funding for election security and gun violence research, and money for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Funding for the wall was the main sticking point in last year’s budget impasse, which led to a 35-day partial government shutdown. Today’s legislation avoids a repeat of that scenario.
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The bill will add approximately $400 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.