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September 23, 2012 / needhamgrassroots

FACT: Obama had 72 Working Days of a Filibuster-Proof Majority

From Chicago Tribune – The first requirement to have “complete, unadulterated control” of Congress is to command a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate, and the Democrats didn’t have that when Obama became president.

  • Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, the prospective 60th vote, was locked in a bitter recount battle. By the time Franken was sworn in — July 7, 2009 —…
  • …Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy was too ill to participate in the legislative process. Project Vote Smart records reflect that Kennedy stopped voting on major bills in late March.

He died in late August. His temporary replacement, Democrat Paul G. Kirk, was sworn in Sept. 24 and served until the Feb 4, 2010, swearing-in of Republican Scott Brown, winner of the special election to finish the balance of Kennedy’s term.

Congressional records reflect that the Senate was in session for 72 days during the four months and one week (of the nearly 41 months Obama has so far been in office) that the Democrats actually had a filibuster-proof majority — not a particularly long time in the deliberately pokey upper chamber.

But even in this window Obama’s “control” of the Senate was incomplete and highly adulterated due to the balkiness of the so-called Blue Dog conservative and moderate Democratic senators such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

The claim that Obama ruled like a monarch over Congress for two years — endlessly intoned as a talking point by Republicans — is more than just a misremembering of recent history or excited overstatement. It’s a lie.

It’s meant to represent that Obama’s had his chance to try out his ideas, and to obscure and deny the relentless GOP obstructionism and Democratic factionalism he’s encountered since Day One.

They seem to figure if they repeat this often enough, you’ll believe it.

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And from the – 

Host of Fox News, Chris Wallace, made the incorrect assertion during an interview Sunday that President Barack Obama had a filibuster proof majority (60 out of 100 votes) in the Senate for two years. The actual fact is Democrats only had a filibuster proof majority for 133 days, a far cry from the over 700 days that Wallace gleefully interjected.

This is not the first and will certainly not the last time Fox New has been caught saying completely untrue things on the air.

Wallace shot back with the fallacy, “But in fairness, the first two years, he (President Obama) had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a big majority in the House.”

There is certainly nothing fair about telling a lie on the air to millions of people. Villarigosa did not deflect the point as untrue, and that was his failing.

The simply reality is Democrats only had a filibuster-proof majority from September 24, 2009 to February 4, 2010, as was noted by

This lie that is perpetuated by Fox News as fact, shows that if a lie is told enough times then it is accepted as truth.


And from the Plymouth Patch:

Before ya go all “but they Democrats had the majority…” Here are some facts. Yes, the Democrats held a majority in both houses and Nancy Pelosi had an incredibly busy and productive tenure as Speaker of the House writing some amazingly progressive legislation. None of that mattered though because of the gridlock in the Senate.

Even though the Democrats held the majority in the Senate they couldn’t move legislation forward. If you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that having a simple majority doesn’t matter.

Nope, you need a super-majority and that means 60 Senators instead of 51. We can thank Rule 22 for that. Basically, it gives 41 Senators the ability to block any legislation.

How democratic does that sound?

I don’t care if you like the President or not. I don’t even care if you think he was born on Mars to a three-headed Rick James look-a-like. What I do care about is lying.


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One Comment

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  1. Harry Errett / Apr 26 2017 4:05 PM

    Thanks for the information. When was the health care bill finally approved and signed by President Obama?

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