Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Washington Post Fact Checker Award Harry Reid 3 Pinocchios for His False Claim That the GOP Won’t ‘Do Anything That’s Constructive’

Once again even the Liberal Washington Post (WaPo) had to call Senator Harry Reid to task for his 17 Oct bold faced lie falsely accusing Republicans that: “… they don't want to do anything that's constructive.”

It should be noted the Republicans tried to bring the President’s exact Jobs bill as submitted to a Senate vote immediately after he submitted it but Reid used the “nuclear option” to procedurally kill it because he knew it would embarrassingly fail not even getting a majority of Democrats to vote for it. Dems have to run for reelection too! Reid did bring up his modified version of the Obama Bill last week but even that failed to advance to a vote with some Democrats voting against it. Now Senate Democrats plan to bring Obama’s bill up in pieces.

The WaPo Fact Checker examined Reid’s assertion that Republicans in the Senate “don’t want to do anything that’s constructive” and concluded it warranted 3 PINOCCHIOS – just one short of their Max but still a pretty big Whopper!You can read the entire WaPo Fact Checker article by clicking on the below image to enlarge it but here is the “Readers’ Digest” version:

The Facts - The President asked Congress to:
-- Pass trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia
-- Pass trade adjustment assistance
-- Pass patent reform
-- Pass Federal Aviation Administration authorization
-- Pass an extension of the highway transportation bill.

…and here is what Congress has done:

On 15 Aug Obama said: “You know, trade deals haven’t always been good for America. There have been times where we haven’t gotten a fair deal out of our trade deals. But we’ve put together a package that is going to allow us to start selling some Chevys and some Fords to Korea so that — we don’t mind having Hyundais and Kias here, but we want some ‘Made in America’ stuff in other countries. That’s something that Congress could do right now.”

The trade bills were approved by Congress last week. In fact, Obama hosted the president of South Korea and traveled with him to Michigan, making the case that this bill will mean more American jobs. It should also be noted that these agreements were negotiated by George Bush but Obama did even submit them to Congress until just before they passed. When Obama made his 15 Aug statement, he hadn’t even submitted the legislation to Congress. It should also be noted that Reid opposed the trade deals, believing them to be job-killers.


On 20 Aug Obama pushed for trade adjustment assistance for workers who lost their jobs to free trade: “Let’s pass trade deals to level the playing field for our businesses. . . .These are common-sense ideas – ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans. The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.”

That bill passed in September, paving the way for the trade deals.

On 15 Aug Obama demanded action on patent reform: “Patent reform is something that a lot of folks don’t talk about, but our entrepreneurs, when they come up with a good idea, if we could reform how that system works and cut some of the red tape, we could have entrepreneurs creating businesses like Google and Microsoft right now, all across the country. But we’ve got to make this investment, and Congress could make that decision to make it happen.”

The patent bill also passed in September.

On 31 Aug Obama called for a deal to avert another FAA shutdown: “So I’m calling on Congress, as soon as they come back, to pass a clean extension of the surface transportation bill, along with a clean extension of the FAA bill, to give workers and communities across America the confidence that vital construction projects won’t come to a halt.”

An extension of FAA funding through January was passed in September.

On 31 Aug Obama called for a renewal of the transportation bill: “This transportation bill has been renewed seven times in the last two years alone. That’s why my Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood — a Republican — is with me today, along with David Chavern from the Chamber of Commerce, and Rich Trumka of the AFL-CIO — two organizations who don’t always see eye-to-eye on things — because they agree on how important it is for our economy that Congress act now.”

A bill providing for highway funding through March passed in September too.

So what the bottom line that got the Dems the Big 3 Pinocchios?

Reid is being untruthful when he accuses the Republicans of not wanting “to do anything that's constructive.” The fact is that a number of major bills demanded by the president have passed with bipartisan support and several of the elements of the Obama jobs bill have Republican support but the disagreement between the parties is how to pay for it.

Reid may disagree with the GOP stance on tax increases, but it is misleading to suggest that Republicans have blocked legislation of importance to the president.