Memo To Megyn Kelly: The Senate Never Voted On Obama's Budget

Fox News host Megyn Kelly repeatedly pushed the false narrative that President Obama's 2013 budget proposal received zero votes in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. In reality, the Senate did not vote on Obama's real budget, but on shell legislation introduced by Republicans in order to “embarrass” Democrats.

Discussing current budget negotiations on America Live, Kelly claimed President Obama's budget proposal received zero votes when the Senate voted on it earlier this year. Kelly said, “The Democrats in the Senate didn't have the courage to pass it. What makes you think the Republicans would?” and concluded, “A proposal's meaningless unless you [have] support for it. He can't even get support from his own party.”

Kelly's assertion is a deceptive revision of history. In May, the Senate did vote 99-0 against a nonbinding budget resolution, but this was not Obama's full budget. Instead, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions introduced his own, much shorter version of Obama's plan, which included the same figures as Obama's plan for spending, revenue, and deficits, but none of his specific policy proposals. As ABC's Jake Tapper reported, “The Sessions legislation was 56 pages long; actual budgets are closer to 2,000 pages long.”

Republicans then forced the Senate to vote on Sessions' version of Obama's plan to “embarrass Democrats and the White House,” as the Associated Press put it. Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post explained:

This vote, on a Potemkin “Obama Budget,” is not intended to be taken seriously. It's a stunt designed to get a slag into the newscycle, and they tend to work. What happens is a Republican legislator presents a “budget proposal” that's designed to be a satirical presentation of an “Obama budget.” Democrats don't vote for it, because they recognize that it bears no resemblance to their budgetary preferences.

Tapper also quoted a White House official saying that “the Sessions proposal was a 'shell that could be filled with a number of things that could hurt our economy and hurt the middle class. ... For example, rather than ending tax breaks for millionaires his budget could hit the revenue target by raising taxes on the middle class and rather than ending wasteful programs, his budget could hit its spending target with severe cuts to important programs.' ”