Chris Wallace falsely claims Obama had filibuster-proof majority for 2 years
Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday made the false claim that the Democratic Party had a 60-vote majority for two years after President Barack Obama took office.
During an interview with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Wallace pointed out that Obama had not accomplished “major entitlement reform” in his first four years in office.
“Every time he tries to work with [Republicans], they listen to [House Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell,” Villaraigosa noted. “What does Sen. McConnell say? His number one issue is to block the president, is to stop him.”
“But in fairness, the first two years, he had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a big majority in the House,” Wallace argued.
“And the first two years, he was dealing with the biggest recession, the worst hemorrhaging of jobs since the Great [Depression],” the Los Angeles mayor replied.
As Talking Points Memo observed, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) temporary replacement wasn’t sworn in until Sept. 24 of 2009, giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority for four months and one week until Republican Scott Brown filled Kennedy’s seat after a special election.
“The claim that Obama ruled like a monarch over Congress for two years — endlessly intoned as a talking point by Republicans — is more than just a misremembering of recent history or excited overstatement,” the Chicago Tribune‘s Eric Zorn wrote. “It’s a lie.”
“It’s meant to represent that Obama’s had his chance to try out his ideas, and to obscure and deny the relentless GOP obstructionism and Democratic factionalism he’s encountered since Day One,” he explained. “They seem to figure if they repeat this often enough, you’ll believe it.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast Sept. 2, 2012.