The Latest Lie: “Obama Got Everything He Wanted”

Dave Johnson

Mitt Romney’s out there with yet another whopper. Since Obama became President Senate Republicans have filibustered almost everything, but Romney said, “He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work.” Wow.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has a takedown over at Huffington Post, The Case Obama Needs Progressives to Make Against Republican Convention Attacks,

For those who follow politics closely, this argument is easily debunked.

Republicans blocked the seating of Senator Al Franken for the first half-year of Obama’s presidency and took Ted Kennedy’s seat half a year later. They used the Senate filibuster to deny Americans the opportunity to see Obama’s proposals enacted on jobs, pay equity for women, the Dream Act, climate change, and according to the Associated Press, an “astonishing” number of other issues.

Green uses the stimulus as one example. Economists were making the case that over $1 trillion was needed, but,

In a fashion typical of the Obama White House, they negotiated with themselves. A memo written to Obama by economic adviser Larry Summers “detailed only two packages,” $550 billion and $890 billion. “Summers did not include Romer’s $1.2-trillion projection.”
… the White House pre-emptively watered down their own stimulus-spending plan to $465 billion (60% of $775 billion) in an attempt to avoid a Senate Republican filibuster.

By Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s accounting of history, “Obama’s plan” should have sailed through. But instead, every Republican Senator threatened to filibuster.

Ultimately, faux-moderates Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Spector agreed to break a Republican filibuster if $80 billion in spending was removed — including $40 billion in aid to the states.

… The bottom line: Americans never got to see a progressive stimulus vision enacted.

Over at TPM, Sahil Kapur writes in, Romney: Obama Passed Everything He Wanted And Failed,

The argument obscures the important policy-making role Republicans had in the first two years of Obama’s presidency, when they used a record number of filibusters in the Senate to weaken — and in some cases thwart — large pieces of his agenda.

The $787 billion stimulus package in 2009, which was ultimately too small to fully reverse the economic downturn, had to be scaled down because a GOP filibuster required Democrats to win over 60 Senate votes for final passage. Repeated filibusters on health care reform ate up nearly a year of the Democrats’ legislative time, and Obama’s subsequent efforts to boost the economy were met with the same wall of Republican opposition — one that became insurmountable after the GOP’s congressional victories in 2010.

So … when do the lies become THE issue?

I’m holding my breath.

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