Republican Filibusters

GOP FILIBUSTERS….I see that Republicans have successfully filibustered two more bills today: one to give a House seat to the District of Columbia (57-42) and one to restore habeas corpus rights to terrorism suspects (56-43).

That seems like a good excuse to rerun this chart that McClatchy put together a couple of months ago. As you can see, Republicans aren’t just obstructing legislation at normal rates. They’re obstructing legislation at three times the usual rate. They’re absolutely desperate to keep this stuff off the president’s desk, where the only choice is to either sign it or else take the blame for a high-profile veto.

As things stand, though, Republicans will largely avoid blame for their tactics. After all, the first story linked above says only that the DC bill “came up short in the Senate” and the second one that the habeas bill “fell short in the Senate.” You have to read with a gimlet eye to figure out how the vote actually broke down, and casual readers will come away thinking that the bills failed because of some kind of generic Washington gridlock, not GOP obstructionism.

So, for the record, here are the votes. On the habeas bill, Democrats and Independents voted 50-1 in favor. Republicans voted 42-8 against. On the DC bill, Democrats and Independents voted 49-1 in favor. Republicans voted 41-8 against. Would it really be so hard for reporters to make it clear exactly who’s responsible for blocking these bills?

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