Appearing on Fox News today, Fox News contributor Christopher Hahn called out conservative talking points by pointing out that Senate Republicans constantly resort to filibusters to block bills that have the support of a majority of senators.
As we've pointed out, the conservative media have been hiding Republican obstructionism in order to label Democratic senators as "lazy" and "do-nothing." But Republicans have repeatedly resorted to filibusters to block legislation -- such as bills to ensure that the richest Americans pay their fair share in taxes -- that would otherwise have passed the Senate. Republicans are on a pace to filibuster more often than Democrats did when they were in the minority.
Today, Republican strategist Chip Saltsman, a regular Fox guest, claimed that the Republican House is passing bills but the Democratic Senate is not. In response, Hahn pointed out that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that his most important goal was "to make sure that President Obama was a one-term president." Hahn added that McConnell has tried to do that by "block[ing] everything, using the filibuster more than any time in the history of this country."
But it doesn't sound like conservatives are backing down from their attempts to paint black as white. During the segment, Saltsman tried to prove that Republicans are trying to act while Democrats are not by saying, "Even the highway bill, which a lot of people agree on, they passed one in the House that was actually paid for. The Senate won't even pick it up."
That is exactly the opposite of what has happened. Under the control of Democrats, the Senate passed a multi-year extension of federal highway construction programs. The bill received bipartisan support, with Democrats voting unanimously for the bill and Republicans evenly split.
By contrast, the House has not even brought up a long-term highway bill for consideration. Instead, it has managed only to pass a series of short-term extensions of the highway programs. The House's most recent extension lasts only until September 30 and passed without the support of most Democrats.
So, when pressed to come up with an example of Republicans taking action while Democrats do nothing, Saltsman actually proved the opposite.