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H.R. 1625: St. Patrick’s Day Act

Can the red states and blue states unite around the color green?


St. Patrick’s Day is held every March 17, marking the death date of the namesake Saint Patrick of Ireland in 461 A.D. People traditionally dress up in green, even if they have no Irish heritage or ancestry themselves.

Since Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, the first new one added since Martin Luther King Day in the 1980s, notably more federal holiday proposals have been introduced in Congress.

GovTrack Insider has covered several such proposals, including Rosa Parks DaySeptember 11Lunar New Year a.k.a. Chinese New YearGold Star Families DayHarriet Tubman Day, and the Hindu new year festival Diwali.

In February, a legislator in Tennessee even attracted national headlines with a proposal to make “Super Bowl Monday” a state-level holiday, the day after the actual NFL championship. However, GovTrack Insider is unable to locate any federal equivalent introduced in Congress.

What the bill does

The St. Patrick’s Day Act would establish March 17 as a federal holiday.

Only one state currently recognizes St. Patrick’s Day as a state-level holiday: Massachusetts, which has the second-highest Irish population percentage behind only New Hampshire.

The bill [H.R. 1625] was introduced in Congress on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day exactly, by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA1).

What supporters say

Supporters argue that March 17 already seems to be one of the country’s biggest events of the year, so why not make it more official?

“St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the rich history and fighting spirit of the Irish people — including nearly 2 million in Pennsylvania — and the countless contributions that generations of Irish Americans have made to our nation,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said in a press release. “As a descendant of Irish immigrants and a friend of Ireland, I am proud to introduce this… legislation to properly recognize St. Patrick’s Day as a federal holiday.”

What opponents say

Opponents may counter that despite the holiday ostensibly commemorating somebody’s death, it’s generally considered a joyous celebration — perhaps *too *joyous. The copious alcohol intake often leads to notable upticks in acts of violence or criminality. The day usually sees a considerable increase in drunk driving fatalities, sexual assaults, and robberies.

Opponents may also counter that, similar to the aforementioned “Super Bowl Monday” holiday proposal in Tennessee, if anything it might make more sense to make the day after St. Patrick’s Day a federal holiday instead. After all, that’s when the hangovers actually occur.

Odds of passage

The bill has not yet attracted any cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Last updated Mar 27, 2023. View all GovTrack summaries.

No summary available.