A November 14 article in The Hill reported that Democratic “House leaders have been pressing [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-NV] to intensify the fight with Republicans by forcing them to filibuster major bills rather than holding failed cloture votes and criticizing the GOP after bills are pulled from the floor.” But in the next sentence, The Hill reporters Manu Raju and Mike Soraghan wrote that “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged asking Reid to stage more filibusters” [emphasis added] -- falsely suggesting that Hoyer asked for more Democratic-led filibusters.
As Media Matters for America noted, during the July 17 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, co-anchor Diane Sawyer similarly asserted that Reid “vows to filibuster, talking all night to close out all topics besides a vote on Iraqi troop withdrawals.” Sawyer was referring to Reid's plan to hold an all-night Senate debate prior to the July 18 cloture vote on a Democratic proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq. However, it was Republicans -- not Reid -- who were threatening to filibuster the Democrats' withdrawal proposal. Sawyer later corrected her false assertion.
From the November 14 article in The Hill:
Senate Democrats might force Republicans to wage a filibuster if the GOP wants to block the latest Iraq withdrawal bill, aides and senators said Tuesday.
When a senator threatens a filibuster, the Senate can attempt to invoke cloture to end debate on a bill, which requires 60 votes. And if the cloture vote fails, the bill is usually pulled from the floor.
On their latest Iraq plan, Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. Instead, they are considering making Republicans carry out a filibuster to highlight that it is the GOP preventing an unpopular president from changing course in Iraq.
Such a plan resembles the all-night debate -- when cots were wheeled out -- leading up to the July 18 vote to cut off a filibuster on an amendment by Levin and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to require troops to return from Iraq in nine months. Republicans dismissed the move as theatrics.
Since then, the Levin-Reed language has been softened to include a 12-month goal, rather than a mandate, for withdrawing troops in Iraq. The measure, which is part of a $50 billion interim “bridge” fund for Iraq war operations, would also ban tactics such as water-boarding by setting into law the Army Field Manual, which does not allow for brutal interrogation tactics.
House leaders have been pressing Reid to intensify the fight with Republicans by forcing them to filibuster major bills rather than holding failed cloture votes and criticizing the GOP after bills are pulled from the floor.
That fissure broke into the open last week when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged asking Reid to stage more filibusters.
“That is the only way you can give Americans a clear view of who is obstructing change,” Hoyer said.