A bill proposed in the Illinois House of Representatives would have made former President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday in Illinois, Obama’s home state.
According to the text of the bill, “The fourth day of August of each year shall be a legal holiday to be known as Barack Obama’s Birthday to be observed as a day on which to hold appropriate exercises in commemoration of our illustrious President. When August fourth shall fall on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be held and considered the holiday.”
[graphiq id="a0OPK6xyv1H" title="President Barack Obama Approval Rating" width="600" height="534" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/a0OPK6xyv1H"]
The only thing surprising about the bill is that its sponsor—state Rep. Sonya Harper, a Democrat from Chicago—didn’t mandate Sunday church services be moved to make room for the “illustrious” Obama’s birthday.
The bill, which was later rejected by everyone in the Illinois House of Representatives with even a shred of common sense (a little more than half), would have cost taxpayers an estimated $20 million.
However, one good thing did come from the foolish attempt: Conservatives across the country had a good laugh at the former president’s expense.
Replying to a story about the proposed holiday in the Washington Examiner, one reader wrote on Twitter, “It’s a little early for April Fool’s Day, no?”
— MsZuccarello (@CarmiOnTheVerge) March 22, 2017
Another person wrote, “Wow, this is NOT from The Onion. This almost happened. For real.”
.@dcexaminer Wow, this is NOT from The Onion. This almost happened. For real.
— EagleGraphs (@EagleGraphs) March 24, 2017
Jon Gabriel, editor-in-chief at Ricochet and a master of snark, simply wrote, “So racist.”
So racist. https://t.co/WCOqGfUH47
— jon gabriel (@exjon) March 22, 2017
Before listing all the names of the ridiculous state legislators who voted for the proposal, Joe Kaiser, an assistant editor at the Illinois Policy Institute, explained on IPI’s website just how foolish the proposal was.
“Instead of inventing new holidays, lawmakers – both Democratic and Republican – should be getting to work on economic reforms that would save the state money, not cost money through added personnel costs and lost productivity,” Kaiser wrote.
“Illinois’ backlog of bills has hit a record high, at more than $13 billion, and the state isn’t even covering the interest on its mounting pension debt,” Kaiser wrote. “Meanwhile, lawmakers – who haven’t passed a balanced budget in 16 years – have come up with few solutions to the state’s fiscal woes other than multibillion-dollar tax hikes.”
Considering the bill fell only six votes shy of passing, it’s safe to say this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Obama Day.