Hume allowed McConnell to peddle false claim on Schiavo vote

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

Fox News Sunday guest host Brit Hume failed to challenge Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) when McConnell falsely claimed there was no dissent in the Republican caucus when the Senate considered and passed a bill on March 20 to move the Terri Schiavo case into the federal court system. "In the Senate, there were no divisions at all. Not only were there no divisions among Republicans, there were no divisions with the Democrats. It passed in the Senate on a unanimous voice vote. So any divisions would have come about more recently," McConnell said.

Hume neglected to mention senior Republican Sen. John Warner (R-VA), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who was "the sole Republican to oppose the Schiavo bill in a voice vote in the Senate, according to a March 23 New York Times article." There were three people in the Senate chamber at the time of the vote. In a written statement in the Congressional Record, Warner said, "I believe it unwise for the Congress to take from the State of Florida its constitutional responsibility to resolve the issues in this case. The Florida State court system has adjudicated the issues to date. This bill, in effect, challenges the integrity and capabilities of the State courts in Florida."

Warner commented further to the Times: "It looks as if it's a wholly Republican exercise ... but in the ranks of the Republican Party, there is not a unanimous view that Congress should be taking this step."

In a graphic showing how Maryland and Virginia congressmen voted on the bill, The Washington Post reported that Warner and Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) "opposed the bill, but agreed to let it go forward out of respect for the majority."

From the March 26 broadcast of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

HUME: All right. Let me just ask one further final question. There's been some suggestion in some of the media that there is a division among Republicans about this, with conservatives and, particularly, evangelical Christians feeling one way about it, more libertarian Republicans or conservatives feeling another, and that this spells potential political trouble at the polls. What about that?

McCONNELL: In the Senate, there were no divisions at all. Not only were there no divisions among Republicans, there were no divisions with the Democrats. It passed in the Senate on a unanimous voice vote. So any divisions would have come about more recently.

HUME: Let me ask you about this other question that's sort of in the background but always present, and that is the issue of the judges, of the judicial nominations that the president has made ...

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Health Care, End of Life Issues
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Terri Schiavo
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