While senators gravely speak about the nation's fiscal health all day during the Senate budget debate, they're not above making purely political points aimed at embarrassing one another.
To wit: Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican from Colorado, has crafted a massive budget amendment that claims to fund every policy proposed by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on the presidential campaign trail. Allard's amendment — doomed to fail by a significant margin — includes $1.4 trillion in spending over five years by proposing Obama's universal health care program ($65 billion a year), expanding the Army ($6.6 billion a year) and eliminating income taxes on lower income seniors ($10 billion a year).
This is an old Senate trick during budget season, where senators take campaign rhetoric and pump up the theoretical budget numbers behind the proposals then force a vote on the matter. The political impact on Obama is minimal, since the drudgery of the Senate budget debate is unlikely to create waves in the presidential campaign. And Obama has never promised to implement his dozens of domestic policy ideas all in one budget year, but that's not the point for Senate Republicans behind this maneuver.