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Four Pinocchios for Obama’s claim that Republicans have......

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  • Four Pinocchios for Obama’s claim that Republicans have......

    Four Pinocchios for Obama’s claim that Republicans have ‘filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation’
    BY GLENN KESSLER
    May 9 at 6:00 am


    “Here’s what’s more disconcerting. Their [Republicans'] willingness to say no to everything — the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them.”
    – President Obama, remarks at a DCCC dinner, May 7, 2014

    In addressing a dinner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles, President Obama made a rather striking claim — that Senate Republicans have filibustered “500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class.”
    Regular readers knows that The Fact Checker has objected to the way that Senate Democrats tally these figures, but the president’s claim makes little sense no matter how you do the numbers.

    The Facts

    First, some definitions: A filibuster generally refers to extended debate that delays a vote on a pending matter, while cloture is a device to end debate. Filibusters are used by opponents of a nominee or legislation, while cloture is filed by supporters.
    Since 2007, there have been 527 cloture motions that have been filed, according to Senate statistics. This is apparently where Obama got his figure. But this tells only part of the story, as many of those cloture motions were simply dropped, never actually voted on, or “vitiated” in the senatorial nomenclature.

    Obama is assuming every cloture motion can be counted as a filibuster. Political scientist Sarah Binder of the Brookings Institution, in 2002 co-wrote a paper that concluded there was 94 percent correlation between cloture motions and documented filibusters between 1917 and 1996. But the Congressional Research Service, using newer data, warned in a 2013 report that “it would be erroneous, however, to treat this table as a list of filibusters on nominations.”

    Indeed, when you go through the numbers, there have just been 133 successful filibusters — meaning a final vote could not take place — since 2007.

    But, even if you accept the way Senate Democrats like to frame the issue, the president is still wrong. He referred to “legislation” — and most of these cloture motions concerned judicial and executive branch nominations. In the 113th Congress, for instance, 83 of the 136 cloture motions so far have concerned nominations, not legislation.

    Binder declined to comment on Obama’s claim but said: “I would certainly agree with you that if I were counting cloture votes aimed at ‘legislation that would help the middle class,’ I would not count cloture votes aimed at confirmation votes.”

    Even then, while Obama referred to “500 pieces of legislation,” the same bill can be subject to as many as three cloture motions, further inflating the numbers. For instance, there may be cloture to get on the bill, cloture on the substitute bill (if lawmakers are simply using an unrelated bill as a vehicle for passage), and cloture on the underlying bill. All of these votes might take place on the same day, but it creates the illusion of the same bill being “filibustered” three times. It certainly does not mean there were three pieces of legislation. So far in the 113th Congress, 36 pieces of legislation were subject to a cloture motion — and 12 were actually filibustered. That’s a far cry from the 136 that Obama is counting in order to tally up 500.
    WaPo
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    There is nothing new about Obama pushing stats and or outright lieing.

    The problem is 95% of the voters never question the bull shit and just swallow it.
    Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
    and lost …
    But the Republicans are racist.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gramps View Post
      The problem is 95% of the voters never question the bull shit and just swallow it.
      So true.

      Comment

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