Five Eye-Popping Spending Items In The $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Bill

Federal lawmakers released a $1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill on Tuesday morning.

The bill was finally released after negotiations between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats. The bill is 4,155 pages long.

Some legislators complained about the slow turnaround in reading the bill. Dan Bishop, a Republican North Carolina Representative, referred to certain provisions in the bill in an extensive Twitter thread and called them “egregious”.

One provision in the bill states that “not less than” $575 million “should be made available for family planning/reproductive health, including in areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species. ”

A section of the bill requires $410 million to “remain available” to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon Egypt, and Tunisia for their “enhanced border security.” The bill states that at least $150 million must go to Jordan.

To address “border management needs”, the bill allocates $1.56 Billion for Customs and Border Protection and $339.6 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Except for improving processing, these funds cannot be used to “acquire, maintain or expand border security technology or capacities.”

The bill allocates $3 million for the Pollinator-Friendly Practices on Roadsides & Highway Rights-of-Way Program. These programs fund activities that benefit pollinators along highway rights-of-way and roadsides. These include planting certain types of fauna or implementing specific mowing strategies.

$65 million is also provided for “necessary expenditures” in relation to the restoration of Pacific salmon populations.

The Secretary of Commerce can grant funds to six Pacific Coast states and tribes in support of projects that benefit endangered, threatened or at-risk salmon and steelhead populations.

A $3.6 million earmark is requested in the spending bill to fund a Georgian project called “Michelle Obama Trail – PATH Trail Project”.