Senate Democrats

FACT CHECK – Republican Leadership Press Conference

This afternoon, the Republican Leadership offered their version of events in the 110th Congress. Below are a few fact checks.

FICTION: Senator McConnell Claimed Republicans Were Shut Out of Conference Process on Lobbying Reform. [Republican Leadership Press Conference, 7/26/07]

  • FACT: Senator McConnell Himself Blocked Appointment of Conferees on the Ethics and Lobbying Reform Bill. “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has blocked appointment of Senate conferees on the stalled lobbying bill, casting doubt on the future of the biggest overhaul of ethics and lobbying legislation in a dozen years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to name conferees Tuesday afternoon, but Republicans objected at McConnell’s request, saying they would allow action on the measure only if promised a vote on a separate bill (S 223) that would require electronic filing of campaign finance reports.” [CQ Today, 6/26/07]

FICTION: Republicans Complained Democrats Had Not Worked With Them. [Republican Leadership Press Conference, 7/26/07]

  • FACT: Senator Lott Admitted GOP Was Using Obstructionist Tactics. “Is this obstructionism? Yes, indeed–according to none other than Lott. The Minority Whip told Roll Call, ‘The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. For [former Senate Minority Leader Tom] Daschle, it failed. For Reid it succeeded, and so far it’s working for us.’ Lott’s point was that a minority party can push as far as it wants until the public blames them for the problem, and so far that has not happened.” [Ornstein Column, AEI, 7/18/07]
  • FACT: Senate Is on Record-Shattering Pace for Cloture Votes. “This is a very different year, one on a record-shattering pace for cloture votes, one where the threat of filibuster has become routinized in a way we have not seen before. As Congressional Quarterly pointed out last week, we already have had 40 [Now 45] cloture votes in six-plus months; the record for a whole two-year Congress is 61.” [Ornstein Column, AEI, 7/18/07]

FICTION: Senator Kyl Complained Democrats Had Not Passed Appropriations – Would Be Forced to Conclude Appropriations In an Omnibus Bill. [Republican Leadership Press Conference, 7/26/07]

  • FACT: Republican Congress Passed Just Two Appropriations Bills in 2006, Leaving Democrats to Provide FY 07 Funding. “The Democratic-written legislation provides funding for programs covered by the nine unfinished fiscal 2007 appropriations bills through Sept. 30. Laws appropriating funds for Defense and Homeland Security programs (PL 109-289, PL 109-295) were the only ones enacted last year.” [CQ Weekly, 2/19/07]
  • FACT: Republican Congress Passed Omnibus Appropriations Bill to Finish FY 2004 and 2005 Spending Bills. In 2003 and 2004, the Republican Congress passed an Omnibus spending bill to conclude the FY 2004 and 2005 appropriations processes. The President signed the Omnibus bills into law January 23, 2004 and December 8, 2004. [CQ Budget Tracker]

FICTION: Republicans Claim Middle Class Tax Rates Are Going Up Under Democrats. [Republican Leadership Press Conference, 7/26/07]

  • FACT: Democrats’ Budget Resolution Extends Child Tax Credit, Prevents AMT From Hitting 20 Million Middle-Income Taxpayers. “The measure conditionally allows for $180 billion in tax cuts, which could be used to extend certain popular Bush tax cuts such as the child tax credit and the 10 percent income tax bracket… The resolution allows for a one-year patch to prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting an estimated 20 million more taxpayers next year.” [CQ Today, 5/17/07]