The fine print of the president's budget was still under wraps as print copies were distributed to Senate staff on Tuesday, but even the cover image was designed to tell a story.
The printed volumes feature Denali — "the Great One" — which President Barack Obama restored to its traditional name from Mount McKinley last year as part of his travel to Alaska -- much to the irritation of some congressional Republicans . As Eric Ueland, the GOP majority staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, was passing out copies, the White House was announcing that the budget's proposed benefits for Alaska go beyond the surface.
It's all part of the annual ritual of budget day, even if the fiscal 2017 release will be overshadowed by the New Hampshire primary. There was an early morning photo op in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and the sale at the Government Publishing Office north of the Capitol.
Among the benefits for America's last frontier would be $150 million in funding to speed up development of a new ice breaker, a heavy duty vessel to ensure the Arctic can be reached throughout the year. There's also proposed support for Alaska Native communities, as well as those that might need to relocate as climate changes affect the far northern reaches of the state.
Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., a member of the House Budget Committee, posted on Twitter his thoughts about Obama's broader budget request and the cover image: "It's literally a mountain of debt." Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., made the same observation on his Twitter feed .
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