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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, May 09, 2014

House Select Committee on 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi |WaPo Fact Checker Slams Obama, Dems For Claims Of "500 GOP Filibusters"

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 9, 2014
The House reconvened at 9 AM today. At 9:59 AM the passed by a vote of 274 to 131 H.R. 4438 — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to simplify and make permanent the research credit." The House then took up for debate H.R. 10 — "To amend the charter school program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965."

Yesterday the House passed:
Hillary's response to H.Res.567
Editorial Cartoon by by Glenn Foden
H. Res. 567 (232-186) — "Providing for the Establishment of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi."
H. Res. 575 (224-192) — "Providing for consideration of the resolution (H. Res. 567) providing for the Establishment of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi."
H.R. 2548 (297-117) — "To establish a comprehensive United States government policy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an appropriate mix of power solutions for more broadly distributed electricity access in order to support poverty alleviation and drive economic growth, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4366 (Voice Vote) — "To strengthen the Federal education research system to make research and evaluations more timely and relevant to State and local needs in order to increase student achievement."

Glenn Kessler, of The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, writes today, “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. . . . 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.”

The president is not alone in making this misleading claim. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) declared, “I’ve had to overcome over 500 filibusters. 500!”

But no matter who is saying it, equating cloture motions with filibusters is absurd. As Kessler explains, “[T]he Congressional Research Service . . . 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 the 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.”

Of course many of these cloture motions are for nominations that were confirmed. Further, after Democrats unleashed the nuclear option, breaking Senate rules to change how many votes were required to invoke cloture on nominees, there have been numerous cloture motions that Reid filed on nominees who were certain to be confirmed, since Democrats are all voting for cloture. That either of these instances could be considered a “Republican filibuster” is ridiculous

Kessler continues, “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.

“Obama’s count also includes at least a half-dozen instances when Republicans were blocked by Democrats through use of the filibuster. In fact, in the biggest oddity, the president reached back to 2007 in making his claim, so he includes two years when he was still a senator. On eight occasions, he voted against ending debate—the very thing he decried in his remarks.” Among Obama’s votes against cloture were the amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2008 and his vote for a filibuster of Judge Leslie Southwick in 2007.

Something else important to consider is Reid’s penchant for filing for cloture on a bill as soon as the Senate begins consideration of it. Is it really “obstruction” when the majority leader decides to cut off debate and amendments before a bill is even considered?< Kessler concludes, “On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous. We realize that Senate rules are complex and difficult to understand, but the president did serve in the Senate and should be familiar with its terms and procedures. . . . [H]e inflated the numbers to such an extent that he even included votes in which he, as senator, supported a filibuster. Four Pinocchios.”

Democrats continue to throw around inflated numbers and charges of “obstructionism” when it is the way they’ve run the Senate that has resulted in these problems.
-------------
Tags:  House, Benghazi, select committee, Senate, Democrats, false claimsINSERT TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:18 PM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous Linda Borgmier Norris said...

YES, THE DEMS "WISH BENGHAZI WOULD GO AWAY" ...BUT WITHOUT THE TRUTH, HOW CAN IT?

5/10/2014  

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