Senior Trump administration officials threatened to veto a spending bill if House Democrats didn't drop a provision that would have required future military aid to Ukraine to be released within 45 days, The Washington Post reports. The provision, originally included in a year-end spending bill that the House and Senate passed before a Saturday shutdown deadline, would have forced the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to quickly release $250 million in defense funding for Ukraine. But the requirement was dropped after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland expressed that the provision was one of the president's non-starters. Trump signed the $1.4 trillion legislation before midnight.
Ueland told the Post the provision was dropped to protect the “president’s apportionment powers.” A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the negotiations primarily occurred between the Appropriations Committee and OMB, and declined to comment further on any specific provisions. This comes after the White House's withholding of Ukraine aid earlier this year became a central part of the impeachment inquiry against Trump, because it occurred while the president was pushing the country to investigate ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Earlier this week, the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.