Leahy’s $1.7 trillion spending bill renames Lake Champlain Basin Program after himself

UVM President Suresh Garimella shows Marcelle and Patrick Leahy plans for the new research boat to be named in her honor.

by Guy Page

If the $1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill proposed yesterday by Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) passes as written, the Lake Champlain Basin Program will have a new name: the “Patrick Leahy Lake Champlain Basin Program.”

The lake preservation, study and cleanup program has been the recipient of generous federal funding, overseen by Leahy, since its founding about 20 years ago. This won’t be the organization’s first homage to the Leahy family. Its Burlington waterfront headquarters, the ECHO Center for Lake Champlain, was renamed the Echo, Leahy Center several years ago. The upgrade of the UVM aquatic research boat Melosira, moored at the Echo Center, will be named the Marcelle Melosira, after Leahy’s wife Marcelle.

The bill also provides the program with $35 million each year until 2027.

As reported in yesterday’s Vermont Daily Chronicle, the bill also features:

  • $858 billion in defense spending
  • $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, including $118.7 billion – a 22 percent increase – for VA medical care
  • $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies. For a top-line review of major spending items prepared by Sen. Leahy’s committee, see Highlights Document FY23.

Other highlights of the package include:

Funding for bipartisan priorities including $58.7 billion for programs authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; $1.8 billion in new funding to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022; and $5 billion for the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund to implement the landmark PACT Act.

  • Making bold investments in health care and research including $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $9.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1.5 billion for ARPA-H (the President’s bold initiative to fight cancer), and $950 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
  • Supporting nutrition programs including a $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, and $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  • Providing housing assistance including $3.6 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, $2 billion for the Rural Housing Service, $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, $1.435 billion for the Housing for the Elderly and Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, and new incremental Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to support over 11,700 additional low-income households.
  • Investing in education including increasing the maximum Pell Grant award to $7,395, $18.387 billion for Title I-A grants, and $1.2 billion for TRIO to support more than 800,000 low-income first generation students get into college and succeed when they’re there.
  • Supporting child care by investing $7.67 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and nearly $12 billion for Head Start.
  • Providing $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families address the rising cost of energy.
  • A record $700 million for combatting violence against women.

Categories: Environment

25 replies »

  1. Just a Statist doing what they know best: Creating legacies, monuments and tributes for themselves. Just think about all of the things we don’t know that he did to enrich himself over the last 48 years. While Vermonters should appreciate the work to bring $$ to Lake Champlain, it’s not a reason to memorialize a Senator for doing what he was paid to do. He really has no shame.

  2. The spending bill is full of payoff money to the Ukrainian government and doesn’t do anything for American taxpayers

    • Todd, You are absolutely correct and the only thing this bill does for the taxpayer is to increase our taxes, someone has to pay for this Leahy’s money grabbing bill!

  3. 35 million per year for the lake Champlain program??? No room for corruption there….COUGH. And how’s the basin program been doing so far? Throwing good taxpayer dollars after bad

    • That’s $35,000,000.00 PER YEAR thru 2027, 175 million dollars total.
      A lovely parting gift for Pat.

  4. The epitome of a self-serving politician and egomaniac. The “Patrick Leahy Lake Champlain Basin Program” is synonymous with the “Trump Tower.”

    • Except for the fact that Trump built and paid for his ‘tower’. Leahy did no such thing with regard to Lake Champlain. Leahy spent other people’s money… and inefficiently to boot.

  5. leahy is bequeathing a nice legacy for the basin program. $175,000,000.00 from our wallets.
    One might wonder what he has bequeathed for himself.
    What a guy.

  6. Leahy has a distinct way of making himself out to be the savior in allocating taxpayer monies towards things the government contributes to; either through neglect or sabotage. The ultimate goal is to destroy human potential; to get people conditioned for the UBI (Universal Basic Income)

    What specifically is contributing to the pollution Lake Champlain? Throwing money at it isn’t going to fix it.

    The multi-billion health and research funding is for what specifically?

    Multi-billions supporting nutrition programs; for who and why?

    Housing assistance in the billions; for who specifically and why?

    Higher education is a joke these days as students are brainwashed and costs skyrocket. I certainly don’t want someone else’s student loan debt foisted unto me as a taxpayer.

    They messed up childcare by passing regs that make it unaffordable for daycare providers.

    Energy assistance…why did energy costs skyrocket/happen in the first place?

    Violence against women is a tough one.

    Government isn’t God.

  7. One of Pat’s final acts is bringing home more swamp bacon for his grifter friends and contributors. My fondest memory of him will be sitting in the place of Chief Justice John Roberts at the impeachment hoax #2. Will we ever get an answer as to why he was there? Farewell Leaky Leahy – we can always undo what you did once the Truth comes out.

  8. Have tried to contact both leahy and welch regarding the Omnibus spending bill?
    leahy replied, (and this was the quickest he ever responded) That he is retiring and not taking comments at this time.
    welch replied, (and this was the quickest he ever responded) That he is moving into his senate position, he is not taking comments.

    How convenient, and disingenuous, to still opperate and vote on a bill and take no comment from those you represent.

    We the people deserve better.

  9. Our representatives in Washington are. Total laughing matter, all should just quit and leave Washington and Vermont. Only serving themselves, not we the people of this country or the state of Vermont

  10. seeing what my gov is doing makes me ill…….too many of us expecting the best from those who get elected and those elected have been skating on that trust for a long time……and making sure they personally are set for a comfortable retirement ……
    TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS ………no matter where you live in the USA ………it is a change LONG overdue

  11. term limits come about every election cycle, in a Democracy the voters get what they vote for, look at Florida versus Vermont.

  12. Screwing the public for 48 years. Spending our grand children into poverty and indentured service to a bloated government.

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