Fox Distorts Democrats' Proposal To Modify Filibuster Rules
On today's edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report, Fox Business correspondent Peter Barnes reported on the efforts by certain Democrats to modify Senate rules regarding the filibuster. After airing the arguments in favor of modifying the rules, Barnes stated that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended the Republicans' use of the filibuster because "Democrats refuse to allow Republican amendments to legislation."
In fact, the proposal would guarantee the minority party the ability to offer amendments.
Senator Tom Udall (D-CO), one of the primary proponents of the proposed rules changes, states :
While many conservatives claim that the Democrats are trying to abolish the filibuster, our resolution maintains the rule but addresses its abuse.
"The third provision in the resolution is included based on the comments of Republicans at last year's Rules Committee hearings. Each time Democrats complained about filibusters on motions to proceed, Republicans responded that it was their only recourse because the Majority Leader fills the amendment tree and prevents them from offering amendments. Our resolution provides a simple solution - it guarantees the minority the right to offer amendments (emphasis added).
The New York Times also stated :
This situation would be resolved by allowing a fixed number of amendments from each side on a bill, followed by a fixed amount of debate on each one
Thus, the proposed changes to the filibuster rules specifically address McConnell's complaint that the minority has been shut out of the amendment process. But watching Special Report -- billed as Fox's premiere daily straight-news program focused on politics -- you would never know that.