Wayne Allard isn’t ready to go fishing in the clear mountain streams of retirement just yet. The Colorado Republican, who was famously criticized by TIME magazine for being one of America’s five worst senators as the “Invisible Man” who never did anything, brought a $1.4 trillion budget amendment to the Senate floor on Thursday that claimed to fund every policy proposed by fellow senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail.
As reported by Martin Kady of Politico, among others, Allard’s proposal was a fine bit of election-year politicking, as the Republicans attempted to quantify the cost of Obama’s universal health care program at over $60 billion a year, his cutting taxes on low income seniors at $10 billion a year and his expanding of military funding at a clip of $6.6 billion a year. With the GOP looking to frame Obama as a massive spender (and you know what that means....TAXES!), Allard was the perfect carrier pigeon: the ex-veterinarian, all-purpose good guy, lame-duck lawmaker and notorious fiscal conservative who’d already announced he wasn’t seeking another term while keeping a low, low profile on Capitol Hill.
Obama didn’t appreciate Allard’s maneuvering. When he entered the hall, he was reported to have yelled to Allard, “Hey, Allard...You working this hard?” He might have been shouting through our Invisible Man, however, considering the Washington Times reported that Allard explained to New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) that the bill “wasn't [his] idea."
As soon as the budget was introduced, every senator present, including Allard, Obama and Hillary Clinton, voted nay. The faux bill, called “make-believe” by Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, went down in faux defeat, 97-0. Dem Barbara Boxer of California asked Allard, “Did you vote against your own amendment?"
Who says Washington can’t agree? They can when Allard leads the charge.
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