OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Senate has passed a massive omnibus spending package to continue to fund the government, but it contains some things that Republicans are furious about.
One of those things is a sneaky gift for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When the House votes on the legislation, Pelosi will still be Speaker, which means she gets to vote on naming the building in her honor.
“$65 million in two programs for Senator Leahy, and a federal building named for Nancy Pelosi,” North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop said on Twitter. “Swamp gonna Swamp.”
$65 million in two programs for Senator Leahy, and a federal building named for Nancy Pelosi.
Swamp gonna Swamp. pic.twitter.com/NCEv8NtvdY
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) December 20, 2022
But that was not the only ridiculous thing in the legislation that Republicans found.
In the massive $1.7 trillion spending package introduced by the Democrats, there is a provision involving former first lady Michelle Obama that has caught the ire of Republicans.
In the legislation lies $3.6 million to fund the “Michelle Obama Trail—PATH Trail Project.”
“The Democrats’ reckless omnibus bill spends YOUR money on a ‘Michelle Obama Trail,’ a ‘Ukraine Independence Park’ in DC, and a ‘Speaker Pelosi Federal Building’ in San Francisco. Are you ok with all of this?” Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said.
The Democrats' reckless omnibus bill spends YOUR money on a "Michelle Obama Trail," a "Ukraine Independence Park" in DC, and a "Speaker Pelosi Federal Building" in San Francisco.
Are you ok with all of this?
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 20, 2022
“Here are just a handful of the many earmarks in the bill, including $3.6 million for the ‘Michelle Obama Trail,’” Rep. Dan Bishop said.
Here are just a handful of the many earmarks in the bill, including $3.6 million for the "Michelle Obama Trail." pic.twitter.com/OdZnlWSqLV
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) December 20, 2022
“I will vote against the radical Biden omnibus, which includes ‘woke’ nonsense like a $3.6 million ‘Michelle Obama Trail’ in Georgia. Why are Senate Republicans voting for this?” Rep. Mary Miller said.
I will vote against the radical Biden omnibus, which includes "woke" nonsense like a $3.6 million "Michelle Obama Trail" in Georgia. Why are Senate Republicans voting for this? https://t.co/iHiyU3nNIQ
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) December 20, 2022
“Would you spend $2 million on a wax museum? How about $3.6 million on the ‘Michelle Obama Trail?’ Well, you’re about to. These are two earmarks in the omnibus spending bill that will become law this week. I’ll be voting to strip every earmark out of the bill,” Sen. Mike Braun said.
Would you spend $2 million on a wax museum?
How about $3.6 million on the “Michelle Obama Trail?”
Well, you’re about to.
These are two earmarks in the omnibus spending bill that will become law this week.
I'll be voting to strip every earmark out of the bill.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) December 20, 2022
And Sen. Rand Paul spoke to reporters about other wasteful spending included in the omnibus.
CNN reported some of the ridiculous spending in the legislation.
“The legislation includes $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding, according to a bill summary from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations,” he said.
“The sweeping package includes roughly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, boosts in spending for disaster aid, college access, child care, mental health and food assistance, more support for the military and veterans and additional funds for the US Capitol Police, according to Leahy’s summary and one from Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. It also includes several major Medicaid provisions, including one that could disenroll up to 19 million people from the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans,” it said.
Paul was furious with the legislation as he showed the approximately 4,000 pages to reporters.
“I brought along the 1.7 trillion, 4,000+ page Pelosi-Schumer omnibus spending bill that’s being fast-tracked through the Senate. This process stinks. It’s an abomination. It’s a no good rotten way to run government. We’re standing up and saying NO,” he said on Twitter with the video.
I brought along the 1.7 trillion, 4,000+ page Pelosi-Schumer omnibus spending bill that's being fast-tracked through the Senate. This process stinks. It's an abomination. It's a no good rotten way to run government. We're standing up and saying NO. pic.twitter.com/Wom6xKEeQh
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) December 20, 2022
“I brought with me the omni, 4,155 pages. When was it produced? In the dead of the night — 1:30 in the morning when it was released,” he said to reporters.
“Now people argue it is conservatives’ fault, you don’t have the Christmas spirit, and somehow you’re holding up the government,” the senator said. “Well, whose job is it to produce this? The people in charge of spending. The people in charge of both of the parties.
“When did they know that this would be necessary? Well, it is in the law. Sept. 30. You’ve got nine months, almost ten months to produce a plan. They weren’t ready on Sept. 30, so they voted themselves 90 more days. They weren’t ready last week either, so they voted themselves another week. And now we have it at 1:30 in the morning this morning,” he said.
“But what’s the clamor? The clamor is to vote! ‘Vote now! Let’s get it done. Why are you standing in the way of spending?’” he said.
“Well, the real question is this: What is more dangerous to the country — $1.1 trillion in new debt or, as Republican leadership likes to say, ‘Oh, it is a win! It is a big win. We’re getting $45 billion for the military’?” the senator said.
“So which is more important? Which threatens the country more? Are we at risk from being invaded by a foreign power if we don’t put $45 billion into the military? Are we more at risk by adding to a $31 trillion debt?” he said.
“I think the greatest risk to our national security is our debt. The process stinks, it is an abomination. It is a no-good rotten way to run your government,” the senator said.