Fox Distorts Sen. Reid's Filibuster Reform Effort

Fox pushed the Republican narrative that they have not obstructed President Obama's nominees, hiding both the intent of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV)'s push to break GOP obstruction of Obama executive nominees and the nature of the obstruction itself.

On June 15, senators failed to negotiate a deal that would allow for confirmation votes on Obama executive branch nominees, including heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Labor, and members of the National Labor Relations Board. A vote on the nominees is scheduled for 10 am on June 16. Reid has indicated that if Republicans do not allow for an up-or-down vote on the nominees, he will go forward with having the Senate change its rules so that Republicans can no longer prevent an up-or-down vote on Obama executive branch nominees by using the filibuster.

Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson suggested there was no need for this reform, highlighting the Republican claim that “over 1,500 have been confirmed and only four were defeated.”

Carlson forwarded the notion that Reid's filibuster reform effort would prevent Republican obstruction of all Obama nominees, when in fact Reid is only proposing to allow for up-or-down votes on executive branch nominees.

By quoting the Republican claim that they have confirmed over 1,500 Obama nominees, Carlson also ignored the unprecedented nature in which they have obstructed the confirmation process for some of these nominees.

For example, the Republican filibuster of Chuck Hagel was the first time in U.S. history the confirmation of a secretary of defense nominee was filibustered. Fox News' Sean Hannity called this filibuster “a major win for the GOP.” And Republicans have also delayed the confirmation of Robert Cordray as head of the CFPB since he was nominated two years ago. Indeed, in February, Republicans vowed to oppose any nominee to head the CFPB unless changes were made to the agency, another unprecedented move.

Obama executive branch nominees have had to hurdle more cloture votes -- a vote necessary to overcome a filibuster --  than any other president in the modern era.

Graphic via People for the American Way