I pulled my earlier post as it’s based on AP’s numbers, and AP reporter Steven Hurst appears to have gotten the numbers totally wrong regarding GOP filibusters. Even with his mistake, the Republicans are filibustering twice as often as Democrats have in any previous Congress – so they clearly are abusing the system.
In a nutshell, Hurst claims:
Last year, the first of the 111th Congress, there were a record 112 cloture votes. In the first two months of 2010, the number already exceeds 40.
That doesn’t appear to be true, if you look at the Senate Web site, that has the actual data. In fact, the Senate Web site seems to suggest that AP mis-read the data. The Senate site shows that, in fact, 112 clotures votes occurred in the last congress, not the last year. A congress is two years. And over 40 votes did not occur this year, they occurred this congress. But this congress is only half over, so double it to get an estimate of the entire congress.
What the data clearly shows it that the GOP is filibustering at twice the rate of what the Democrats did before, including what they did under Bush. So Republicans can’t claim that Democrats did it too – they didn’t. Not like this.
Another interesting data point: In the last ninety years, there have been 1,195 cloture motions filed, and 874 cloture votes, per the Senate site. The Republicans in the last three years that they’ve been in the minority, have caused 215 of the motions to be filed, and 157 of those cloture votes. That means in just the past three years, the Republicans have been responsible for 18% of all filibusters recorded in the past 90 years.