Rep. Fitzpatrick introduces bill to make St. Patrick’s Day a federal holiday
Americans may be feeling the luck of the Irish with a day off if Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s bill becomes law.
This St. Patrick’s Day, the Pennsylvania Republican who shares his name with the spring holiday announced on social media he was dropping a bill to enshrine the observation as a federal holiday.
“Headed to the House floor to introduce the St. Patrick’s Day Act, to make St. Patrick’s Day a federal holiday,” Fitzpatrick wrote on Friday with two shamrock emojis.
BIDEN REFUSES TO TAKE QUESTIONS WITH IRISH LEADER AFTER WH DEFENDS NOT HOLDING PRESS CONFERENCE
Fitzpatrick’s St. Patrick’s Day Act has a chance at making it through the House with the Republican majority and will likely see support from the majority of lawmakers who like extra days off.
St. Patrick’s Day venerates the March 17 death of St. Patrick, an Irish Christian martyr who stands as a cornerstone of Irish culture and the patron saint of Ireland itself, as well as the national apostle.
St. Patrick first arrived in Ireland as a slave at the age of 16 after being kidnapped in Roman Britain during the fifth century.
Escaping from slavery, St. Patrick returned to Ireland and brought Christianity to the people of the nation.
The shamrock, the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, comes from the legend that the saint explained the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland using the three-leafed clover.
St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of St. Patrick, has been celebrated in Ireland since the ninth or tenth century on March 17, but the first parade for the holiday occurred in 1601 in what is now St. Augustine, Florida.
The boisterous holiday celebrated with waterfalls of beer has been a relatively silent affair for some in Washington, though.
President Biden, while meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday, did not take questions from reporters after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the day before that they would have the opportunity to do so.
Biden and Varadkar each spoke briefly, taking turns giving statements expressing the friendship between the U.S. and Ireland, affirming their mutual support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. At the conclusion of their remarks, reporters shouted questions, but Biden smiled and declined to answer as the press were ushered out of the room at the White House.
Biden’s refusal to take questions broke a promise from his press secretary, who on Thursday had said there would be an opportunity for the press to get answers from the president. Reporters erupted at the White House, pointing out that the president is demonstrating a pattern of avoiding the press when world leaders come to visit the United States.
“I’ve spoken to this many times … I’ve brought it up many times, and I gave an explanation that these are diplomatic conversations that happen with the countries that are visiting, and it is something that is decided in that way,” Jean-Pierre had said, sounding frustrated.
“You’re going to have an opportunity, or your colleagues are going to have an opportunity, to ask questions during the pool spray at the Oval that happens every time a head of state visits. So that is an opportunity to be able to pose a question to the president or the head of state that is visiting at the White House on that day,” she had promised.
But reporters who have been covering Biden for two years now objected that he never answers questions during the pool sprays.
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“That’s not true,” Jean-Pierre insisted. “He’s answered questions.”
Biden did not, in fact, answer questions on Friday.
Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo and Brandon Gillepsie contributed reporting.