The $1 trillion spending bill that Congress reached a deal late Tuesday is 1,500 pages long -- and that's before a $650 billion tax package gets tacked onto it in the Senate.
That means there's something in there pretty much for everyone -- or at least every special interest imaginable tried to wiggle something in. Like the beverage industry:
nugget in tax bill: defines hard cider for purpose of excise taxes as a wine with alcohol between 0.5-8.5% & made from apples or pears.
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) December 16, 2015
It's pretty easy in massive spending bills to drop in goodies for special interests unnoticed, said Loren Adler, an analyst with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. For one thing, it's doubtful most lawmakers voting for this bill have actually read all of it.
"I've got to imagine every single lobbying shop won something on this," he said.
Like those Capitol Hill kids' lobbyists. After a group of neighborhood kids called attention last winter to the fact Capitol Police wouldn't let them sled down the hill on Capitol Hill (a ban was instituted for "security reasons" this year), Congress officially requested police lift that ban, reports The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis.
And those opposed to extra-large tractor trailers (it's a real issue for some law enforcement agencies!) got their wish when a proposal to allow twin 33-foot tractor trailers on national highways was left out.
Nothing was exempt from scrutiny, not even renovations for the roof above lawmakers' heads. According to this deal, Congress can't spend federal funds on scaffolding anymore, which is likely related to the years-long renovation of the U.S. Capitol dome.
Oh, and the livestock industry made out pretty well. It got $1 million to compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves, and livestock producers are exempt for the next two years from "onerous" (Republicans' words, not mine) greenhouse gas regulations on … well, cow burps and flatulence.
And just in case the Interior Department changes its mind about not listing a weird-looking bird called the sage grouse as an endangered species (it's a long story and a big deal out West), there's a provision preventing the government from spending money to do so.
There are also some overtly political tones in this spending bill, an increasingly common thing to see as lawmakers try to slip in their priorities into one of the few pieces of legislation that still passes Congress every year.
A provision "preventing the Obama Administration from manipulating Census Bureau statistics related to health insurance coverage" made it in. So did "a prohibition on aid to Libya until the Secretary of State confirms Libyan cooperation in the Benghazi investigation."
Guns were a big issue, too. A Democratic proposal to lift the ban on federal funding of gun violence research didn't make it in, nor did a Republican provision preventing the Department of Justice from tracking the sales of buyers of multiple long guns.
Even the way provisions were structured suggests careful political maneuvering.
One of the most obvious quid pro quos was a lifting of the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil, a Republican priority, in exchange for tax breaks for the next five years for solar and wind producers, a Democratic priority.
But Adler and Rudy Penner, a fellow with the Urban Institute, thought it was odd those tax breaks are in the spending bill, instead of, you know, the actual tax break bill.
Adler thinks that might have something to do with how each bill is set up to pass the House: Democrats are expected to carry the spending bill to passage, so why not add some goodies in there for them to vote for? And Republicans are expected to carry the tax break bill to passage, so why not make it easier for them to vote for that?
The bill also includes pauses on taxes levied by the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Adler pointed out at least one of those pauses in taxes will have the effect of lowering health-care premiums for Americans by an average 2 percent in 2017. Guess when those premiums get announced? Shortly before the 2016 election.
See? There's something in this massive deal for everyone, including for lawmakers who want to keep their jobs.
Correction: This article originally misstated the fate of a proposal to stop tracking long gun buyers.