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The Secret Loser of the Spending Bill: Joe Biden The Secret Loser of the Spending Bill: Joe Biden

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White House

The Secret Loser of the Spending Bill: Joe Biden

The appropriations package to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year includes a few unhappy provisions for the vice president.

Vice President Joe Biden frowns.(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Marina Koren
January 16, 2014

For Vice President Joe Biden, the spending bill moving through Congress this week hits close to home. Specifically, how he, theoretically, pays for that home and how he gets there.

Buried deep in the 1,582-page omnibus appropriations package is legislation that enacts a pay freeze for the vice president and "senior political appointees" for fiscal 2014. Another provision pulls funding for high-speed-rail development, Biden's pet project.

Before the second family moved into No. 1 Observatory Circle, Biden took nightly 90-minute train rides to get home to Wilmington, Del., from Washington. His commute garnered him the nickname "Amtrak Joe" and a reputation as "the nation's most famous Amtrak passenger." In 2011, he even had a train station in Wilmington named after him.

 

Naturally, Biden pushed for the railroad service's proposed Next Generation High-Speed Rail, which would travel at 220 mph, bringing passengers from Washington to New York in an hour and a half, and cost $117 billion to construct. With the project likely shelved when the spending bill passes the Senate later this week, Biden will have to contend with his usual commute for trips back to Delaware for a while longer.

January, it seems, has not very been kind to the veep so far.

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