Dear Sen. Allen,
Say it aint so. Tell me that the fine folks at the Wall Street Journal, themselves incredulous at what their own eyes were telling them, were simply wrong in reporting the you were among 20 other members of the GOP who threaten to oppose the latest budget reconciliation if Byrd Amendment repeal is included.
For those who are reading this that may not be familiar with it (including yourself and members of your staff, apparently) the Byrd Amendment is a little bit of protectionism slipped into the 2001 budget by you-know-who. What makes this bit of anti-fair trade-ism particularly odious is that it actually pays companies for not trying to compete, but rather to reap the tariffs resulting from their claims of dumping. Sort of a fall-back business plan. On top of the America-talks-out-of-both-sides-of-its-mouth aspect of the Byrd thing, it happens to be illegal, bringing WTO-sanctioned retaliations from our trading partners.
House Republicans managed to get repeal language included in this years bill. And now it's the Senate's turn to step up to the plate as it were. So what do you do? Threaten Sen. Frist with killing the bill if the repeal is not removed.
What could possibly be going through your mind? Playing both sides of the fence, perhaps you hope that the stricken language would be restored in conference. Either way, Senator, you can forget about my primary support for your Presidential campaign. Maybe you've already decided not to run for president and you are pinning your reelection as Senator on this little manuever of yours.
Maybe, you hope to get your back scratched on other, more important legislation. Playing the game, eh? Gotta give some to get some...right? Open your eyes, man! The only thing the Democrats are giving Republicans lately is a very hard time!
So, tell me it aint so.