Democrats reportedly backed down on Ukraine language in spending package to avoid shutdown

Tim O'Donnell

Avoiding a government shutdown proved to be the priority.

Senior Trump administration officials threatened a presidential veto if Democrats had refused to drop language in the year-end $1.4 trillion spending package that passed through the House and Senate this week and was signed by President Trump on Friday night, administration and congressional officials told The Washington Post.

Congress had included a provision that would have required the White House to release $250 million in Pentagon funding for Ukraine within 45 days, but the administration reportedly considered that one of several non-starters and suggested Trump would veto the spending package if it remained in place.

"We made crystal clear that no restriction on the president's apportionment powers would be acceptable to him regardless of topic," White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland said.

House Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agreed to the demand, ultimately opting to avoid the threat of a shutdown. The White House's decision to withhold aid from Ukraine this summer after Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his domestic political rivals was at the heart of the House's decision to impeach Trump. Read more at The Washington Post.

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