Congressional leaders working to pass a $1.7 trillion spending bill this week are some of the same ones who are honored in the bill with language naming certain buildings or programs after them.
On the Senate side, the bill was negotiated by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., who is retiring at the end of this Congress.
The 4,155-page spending bill includes several references to Leahy. For example, it renames an existing school lunch program as the Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program.
The bill also renames the Lake Champlain Basin Program as the Patrick Leahy Lake Champlain Basin Program. The bill also directs $30 million to the Patrick Leahy Bullet-Proof Vest Partnership Grant Program.
The top Republican on Leahy’s committee is Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who is also retiring. The bill renames the FBI building in Alabama after Shelby.
‘I guess there are still a few things in Alabama that have yet to be named after Richard Shelby,’ said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Tuesday. Lee opposes the bill along with other Republicans who say it continues Congress’ reckless pattern of excessive spending that has led to inflation levels that haven’t been seen in 40 years.
Both Leahy and Shelby praised the bill on Tuesday and urged lawmakers to pass it.
‘The House and the Senate should take up this bill and pass it without delay,’ Leahy said.
‘This process was far from perfect, but ultimately it allowed Republican red lines to be adhered to and because of that I will urge my colleagues to support this package,’ Shelby said.
House Republicans were essentially ignored during the negotiations on the bill, but the legislation does honor another lawmaker from the House – outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The bill names a building in San Francisco as the Speaker Nancy Pelosi Federal Building. Pelosi also called for its passage.
‘It is urgent and necessary that we enact this omnibus package, so that we may keep government open and delivering for America’s families,’ she said.