The omnibus flies commercial.
As thousands of travelers remained stranded at airports across the country amid a chaotic few days for the airline industry, the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill scored a ticket to St. Croix for President Biden to affix his signature at the tropical villa where he’ll ring in the new year.
The White House told NBC News on Thursday that the more than 4,000-page bill was delivered to the 80-year-old president by White House staff on a regularly scheduled commercial flight.
It’s unclear if the mammoth piece of legislation was checked or flew carry-on.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress,” Biden announced in a Twitter post that showed him approving the 4,000-page-plus bill.
“It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine. Looking forward to more in 2023,” Biden added.
A White House official told Fox Business reporter Edward Lawrence that the massive document was “transported to St. Croix for POTUS to sign” in order to meet a Dec. 30 deadline for the government to remain funded.
The president, first lady Jill Biden, and other members of the Biden clan traveled to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands late Tuesday. They will celebrate the New Year at the island abode of wealthy business owners Bill and Connie Neville.
The House of Representatives voted largely along party lines last week to pass the bill less than 11 hours before a partial government shutdown would have begun. The House and Senate also approved a one-week measure to keep the government funded until Dec. 30 to give Biden enough time to sign the bill.
The spending package includes $858 billion to fund the Defense Department and $772.5 billion for “discretionary” programs. Tucked inside the bill is also about $45 billion in military aid for Ukraine.
Officially called the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023,” the omnibus bill will keep the government funded until September 30, 2023.
“Thank you to Representative DeLauro, Speaker Pelosi, Senators Leahy and Shelby, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, and many others for their leadership,” a White House statement on the bill’s signing read.