The Real Story of the 110th Congress: The Right-Wing Block-And-Blame Game
Our October 2008 block-and-blame analysis cuts through the political spin. We document how what is being reported as political stalemate is really the product of a conservative political strategy, both in Congress and the White House, to sabotage the new majority in Congress as it responds to the mandate it received from the American public—even if it means bringing down public support for the entire Congress in the process.
Get the full story:
Previous reports and articles:
» Voting records of senators who are obstructing or supporting the people's agenda.
» The polling data that shows the popularity of the reforms being blocked.
» The comebacks you can use to rebut conservative talking points on the Iraq war.
Senate Obstruction Leader
As far back as January 2007, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that he would assume the role of Senate Obstruction Leader by insisting on a 60-vote supermajority, rather than a simple 50-vote majority, for getting bills through the Senate.
He claims “that’s the ordinary procedure.” But he’s wrong, and we have the proof. The reality is, his abuse of Senate procedures to block the majority will on legislation is unprecedented. McConnell and Senate Republicans like the filibuster now, but they didn’t when Democrats used it more sparingly in the 109th Congress against President Bush’s most extreme judicial nominees. Learn more about McConnell and the Republican filibuster flip-flop »
The Majority Doesn't Count
As this chart shows, never have so many filibusters been threatened as in the first session of the 110th Congress. In just the first year, Republicans filibustered more legislation, and required more cloture votes to break those filibusters, than in any Congress in recent history. By the time this term ends, Congress could well more than double the number of cloture votes of previous Congresses — including the ones that Republicans controlled and complained of Democratic 'obstruction.'
This is the result of a deliberate effort by the Republican minority to undercut the will of the majority of the American public, expressed when voters placed a Democratic majority in control of both houses of Congress. The filibuster, a procedure unique to the Senate to block an up-or-down vote on legislation unless a 60-vote supermajority agrees to proceed, has been historically used by both parties. But it has never been used as routinely as it has been by Republicans since January 2007.
» Read our up-to-date chart on judicial nominations.
The Plot To Bury Progress
Our cameras caught the conservative mastermind leading obstruction in Congress. Watch the video and pass it on to help revive the fight for progress.