Fox History vs. Actual History: Fox's Shutdown Timeline Omits The Role Of The GOP

Fox News' timeline of the ongoing government shutdown cherry-picked dates to omit congressional Republicans' conception and furtherance of the shutdown over their demand to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare).

Fox's Shutdown Timeline Absolves GOP Of Accountability 

Fox Cherry-Picks Events In Shutdown Timeline To Erase Republican Responsibility. On the October 10 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, host Jenna Lee attempted to give a timeline of the GOP's ongoing government shutdown: 

LEE: You know, when did the shutdown standoff begin? I mean it feels like it's been on forever, right? Well it started on September 20th when the house voted to approve legislation which denied funding for Obamacare while keeping the government open through December 15th.

Then during debate in the Senate, tea party favorite Senator Ted Cruz launched into his marathon speech against Obamacare. He started on September 24th and ended 21 hours later.

So with no deal on the spending bill, at midnight October 1st, the government shutdown took effect.

Four days later, the House voted to pay furloughed federal workers when the shutdown ends.

On October 8th, pressure began to mount with the president calling House Speaker John Boehner telling him he refused to negotiate over the debt ceiling, which became an issue of course.

And just yesterday the House voted to pay for halted death benefits to military families. So here we are today. We'll see if this is a break in the talks. 

shutdown1shutdown2[Fox News, Happening Now, 10/10/13]

Here's The Shutdown Timeline Fox Omitted

July 23: Senate Republicans Warn They Won't Fund Government If Affordable Care Act Funding Is Included. On July 23, The New York Times reported that Senate Republicans were planning to refuse “any spending measure to keep the government operating after Sept. 30 if it devotes a penny to put in place Mr. Obama's health care law”:

In the Senate, Republicans are circulating a letter to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, warning they will not approve any spending measure to keep the government operating after Sept. 30 if it devotes a penny to put in place Mr. Obama's health care law. Signers so far include the No. 2 and No. 3 Republican senators, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota, as well as one of the party's rising stars, Marco Rubio of Florida.

The letter, drafted by Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, states: “If Democrats will not agree with Republicans that Obamacare must be repealed, perhaps they can at least agree with the president that the law cannot be implemented as written. If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.” [The New York Times7/23/13]      

Aug. 21: House And Senate Republicans Send Letter To Boehner Urging Him To Defund Affordable Care Act. An August 21 letter sent by “eighty House Republicans” to Speaker Boehner (R-OH) urged the Speaker to “defund the health-care law as part of a short-term bill to fund government operations.” As Bloomberg News wrote:

Eighty House Republicans -- less than half of the caucus -- sent an Aug. 21 letter to Boehner urging him to defund the health-care law as part of a short-term bill to fund government operations. In the Senate, Cruz and Lee have 13 signatures -- also less than half of the chamber's Republicans -- on a similar letter. [Bloomberg News, 8/29/13]       

Sept. 27: Senate Sends Bill Funding Government To House For Approval. On September 27, the Senate passed a bill funding the government through November 17 and restoring funding for the ACA. The bill then went to the House for approval, as The New York Times explained:

The Senate on Friday approved stopgap spending legislation to keep the federal government open without gutting President Obama's health care law, putting new pressure on Speaker John A. Boehner to find a way out of an impasse that had the government on a steady course to a shutdown at midnight Monday.


He can accept the Senate bill, which finances the government through Nov. 15 without Republican policy prescriptions, or listen to his conservatives, who will accept a government shutdown unless the health care law is suspended or weakened. [The New York Times9/27/13]

Sept. 29: House Responds By Sending Funding Bill Back To Senate With Different ACA Demands. As Politico reported, the House responded on September 29 by sending the Senate a funding bill that demands a delay to the Affordable Care Act and a repeal on a tax on medical devices:

House Republicans forced through a short-term government funding bill that delays Obamacare and permanently repeals a tax on medical devices, setting up their most dramatic face-off ever with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.


The House also passed a bill to fund U.S. troops in case of a shutdown. The chamber further adopted a “conscience clause” that postpones until 2015 an Obamacare requirement that employers cover birth control as part of their health-insurance packages. Their funding resolution keeps government open until Dec. 15 at a level of $986 billion.

Passage of the funding bill late Saturday night, following several hours of acrimonious debate the House, sets the stage for two days of political drama over whether the federal government will actually shut down on Oct. 1. [Politico9/29/13]

Sept. 30: Boehner Refuses Democrats' Offer To Fund Government At Sequester-Level Spending. While Senate Democrats originally sought $1.058 trillion to fund the government, on September 30 House Democrats agreed to accept sequester-level funding -- $986 billion, an amount previously endorsed by Republicans -- “as part of a short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown,” according to The Hill:

House Democratic leaders said Monday they'll accept the sequester cuts as part of a short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown.

The lawmakers framed their concession as a counteroffer to the Republicans' latest continuing resolution (CR) strategy, which will include language designed to derail President Obama's healthcare law.

“Take that [language] off and we'll accept your number,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a press briefing in the Capitol. “That's our compromise, that's our offer. We'll take your number to keep government open. Give us a chance to vote for it.”

Pelosi said she called Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday with the offer, which Boehner refused.

Pelosi and the other House Democratic leaders were quick to note that the sequester-level spending of $986 billion was first championed by Republicans in their initial CR proposal. By contrast, Senate Democrats were pushing for a level of $1.058 trillion. [The Hill, 9/30/13

Sept. 30: Senate Twice Rejects House Funding Bills That Include New ACA Demands. On September 30, the Senate removed the House's language delaying the ACA. The House responded with a new funding bill and new demands, which the Senate also rejected, as the Associated Press detailed:

--2:20 p.m. EDT: The Senate removes House provisions postponing the health care law and erasing the medical device tax.

--8:41 p.m.: The House approves a new shutdown bill with different demands. It delays for a year the health care law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance, and requires members of Congress and their staff to pay the full expense of health insurance, without the government paying part of the costs.

--9:37 p.m.: The Senate strips the House provisions on individual health insurance and federal health coverage subsidies for Congress. [Associated Press, 10/9/13]

Oct. 6: Boehner Reiterates He Won't Reopen Government Without Concessions On ACA. On October 6, The New York Times reported that Speaker Boehner insisted ending the shutdown would depend on getting concessions from President Obama on the ACA:

Speaker John A. Boehner stood his ground on Sunday alongside the most conservative Republicans in Congress, insisting that the House would not vote to finance and reopen the government or raise the nation's borrowing limit without concessions from President Obama on the health care law.

“The fact is, this fight was going to come one way or the other,” Mr. Boehner said on the ABC News program “This Week,” adding, “We're in the fight.”

With his hard line, Mr. Boehner reaffirmed that the stalemate with the White House over the six-day-old government shutdown was now compounded by an even more economically risky fight over raising the government's borrowing limit by Oct. 17 to pay for bills already incurred. [The New York Times10/6/13]