WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republican Senate minority today filibustered an omnibus budget bill, setting a modern-day record for blocking the most legislation during a congressional session. A new report released today by the Campaign for Americas Future details the 62 times conservatives have used the filibuster to block legislation (or force modification of bills) in the first session of the 110th Congress. In just the first year of this two-year Congress, their use of the filibuster in the Senate topped the previous record, reached during the entire 107th Congress.
The new report outlines every bill filibustered, vetoed or threatened to be vetoed by President Bush. Conservatives filibustered bills to end the occupation of Iraq, provide soldiers in Iraq rest time equal to their deployments, support renewable energy and grant residents of the District of Columbia representation in Congress. Todays record-breaker involved a $516 billion budget package passed by the House to fund the federal government in 2008. The conservative minority demanded $20 billion additional funding for the war and opposed House language to bring troops home, and threatened a filibuster to prevent the bill from getting an up or down vote.
In just one session, a minority in Congress has prevented a mind-blowing 62 pieces of legislation from going to the floor for an up or down vote, said Campaign for Americas Future co-director Roger Hickey. Our report shows how over and over again, the uncompromising minority has thwarted the will of majorities in Congress and of the American people, holding the Senate floor hostage to a radical right-wing agenda.
Sixty votes are needed to invoke cloture and end a filibuster. The 62nd cloture vote of the session is more than any single session of Congress since at least 1973, the earliest year cloture votes are available online from the Senate. Republicans are on pace to force 134 cloture votes to cut off a filibuster, according to the Campaign for Americas Future analysis, more than double the historical average of the last 35 years.
Even pieces of legislation that have made it past the Senate filibuster blockade have been obstructed by President Bush. Last week the President vetoed for the second time a popular bill that would expand health coverage for 10 million American children. According to the Campaign for Americas Future report, Bush has threatened to veto 84 bills and has vetoed six as of December 17. In contrast, during the period when the Republicans were in the congressional majority, Bush went the longest time without vetoing a bill since President Arthur Garfield.
Eric Lotke, Campaign for America's Future research director and lead author of the new report, calls the obstruction a deliberate strategy. He observes that the congressional Republicans block legislation, then blame the Democrats for getting nothing done. Its like mugging the postman and then complaining that the mail isnt delivered on time.
The story of this historic level of obstruction has recently been covered by The New York Times, but has yet to be fully told in the media. The new Campaign for Americas Future report shows how major media outlets describe the 60-vote threshold as an ordinary procedure, neglecting that this tactic is an unprecedented assertion of minority control.
** NOTE: To obtain an electronic copy of the Campaign for Americas Futures report Block and Blame: The Conservative Strategy of Obstruction in the 110th Congress, please visit
** Record Breaking: Senate Conservatives Use Filibuster for 62nd Time in This Session of Congress - Yahoo! News
Pretty pathetic that even with the Bush veto pen at the ready, they are obstructing bills, most of which have overwhelming popular support
What makes this sad is, unlike 2003, the minority party is not filibustering because if they don't, there will be dire consequences for our nation
No, they just want to spare Bush the use of the veto pen and try to make Democrats look ineffective, the bills themselves obviously have no chance of going over his veto
It's record breaking obstructionism for pure political theater, unlike say, the Democrats, who didn't want to appoint judges like the ones who decided in the DC court of appeals that US citizens can be detained without charge, forever
That was overturned by the SCOTUS (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld), thankfully...but avoiding a fascist state = good thing
Blocking the president's ability to consider and veto an Iraq spending bill = pure theater, all that is wrong with politics
ib "I heard from some conservative that Democrats filibusterd all these good things, it must be true, I have no idea what they are talking about, but if what I overheard at lunch is true, the Democrats are getting a taste of their medicine...and who cares about records anyway"