Republicans have railed against a relatively minor provision in Tuesday’s $1.7 trillion omnibus bill: funding for a hiking trail named after Michelle Obama.
Lawmakers are racing to pass the sweeping package — likely the last major bill in the current Congress — before a Friday deadline or face the prospect of a partial government shutdown.
The 4,155-page bill includes another major round of aid to Ukraine, $858 billion for defense and about $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, according to The Associated Press.
Some Republicans have publicly expressed their disapproval of some elements of the bill, notably $3.6 million earmarked for the “Michelle Obama Trail – PATH Trail Project.”
Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, on twitter it, along with others, highlighted what he believed to be “some of the most egregious provisions in the bill.”
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs also slammed the provision, tweet: “The ruthless Democrat omnibus bill is spending HER money on a ‘Michelle Obama Trail’, a ‘Ukraine Independence Park’ in DC and a ‘Speaker Pelosi Federal Building’ in San Francisco. Do you agree with all of this?”
Indiana Sen. Mike Braun said he will “vote to remove all earmarking from this bill.”
He tweeted: “Would you pay $2 million for a wax museum? How about $3.6 million for the ‘Michelle Obama Trail’? Well, you’re about to do that. These are two targets in the omnibus spending bill that will go into effect this week.”
Representative Mary Miller of Illinois, said on Twitter that she would “vote against the radical Biden omnibus containing ‘woke’ nonsense like a $3.6 million ‘Michelle Obama Trail’ in Georgia”.
Other Twitter users lashed out at lawmakers’ comments, including how a hiking trail could be called “awakened.”
“You know conservatives have really lost the thread when they think naming trails after famous Americans has woken up,” Fox Sports journalist Tanya Ray Fox tweeted.
Another responded to Biggs, writing that they supported such provisions because they “create jobs and cultural value and cost next to nothing”.
The 3.8-mile Michelle Obama Trail near the Georgia State University-Perimeter College campus in Decatur was dedicated in 2018.
DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson led the resolution to rename the post-Obama path and said he was inspired by her “Let’s Move” initiative on childhood obesity and her passion for physical fitness.
The decision to rename the trail was unanimously approved by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, according to a press release in late 2016.
DeKalb Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs and the Office of Michelle Obama have been asked for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/michelle-obama-trail-funding-omnibus-bill-republican-fury-1768635 $3.6M ‘Michelle Obama Trail’ Funding In Omnibus Bill Sparks Republican Fury