John Fritze, USA TODAY
Published 11: 27 p.m. ET Dec. 20, 2019 | Updated 2: 10 p.m. ET Dec. 21, 2019
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed a $1.4 trillion spending package Friday that will put off the possibility of a government shutdown until next fall, earmark money for gun violence research and raise the age for buying tobacco to 21.
The bipartisan legislation, which will keep the government funded through September, not only avoids a shutdown that had been scheduled for Friday but also represents a remarkable moment of cooperation just days after House Democrats impeached Trump.
Trump secured $1.4 billion for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, the same amount lawmakers approved last year. The amount far less than the $8.6 billion Trump had requested, a demand that led to the longest shutdown in U.S. history earlier this year.
The president signed the measure aboard Air Force One as he flew to Florida, where he will spend Christmas.
Included in the package is a provision that would make it a violation of federal law to sell tobacco to anyone under 21, up from the current age of 18. The new minimum age would apply to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.
The measure also includes $25 million for research into gun violence, split between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lawmakers have fiercely debated approving that funding for years amid a spate of high-profile mass shootings in public places.
Earlier Friday Trump signed a $738 billion defense bill into law that created his long promised “Space Force” branch of the military. Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a pay raise for troops, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
John Fritze covers the White House. Follow him @jfritze.
Contributing: Christal Hayes, William Cummings, David Jackson
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