Glenn Kessler at the the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog called out Sen. Bernie Sanders today for lying about Dem plans to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
“Sanders engages in verbal gymnastics and Senate technicalities to obscure the truth,” writes Kessler:
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) March 29, 2017
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): “It’s not a question of filibuster. I am for the Republicans obeying the rules that currently exist, and not changing those rules. And the rules right now, for good reasons, are 60 votes.”
Dana Bash: “Well, okay. The rules do allow for a filibuster for the Supreme Court nomination, but it certainly doesn’t require Democrats to use that.”
Sanders: “You’re using the word filibuster.”
Bash: “Because that’s what it is.”
Sanders: “All it is, is there will be — no, it is not. There will be a vote. If he doesn’t get 60 votes, he does not become Supreme Court justice. That’s the rule right now. It’s not like people are going to be there standing for months and months, bringing down the government. That is what the current rule is. And I think it’s important that it be maintained.”
— exchange on CNN’s “State of the Union,” March 26, 2017
Which Kessler gave “Three Pinocchios”:
Sanders is using the technical language of arcane Senate procedures to an absurd extreme. He claims that Democrats are not engaging in a filibuster when they demand 60 votes from the Senate before a vote on the nomination can be held. Instead, he says that Republicans need to “invoke cloture” to bring the nomination to a vote — which is a technical way of saying they need to bring a filibuster to an end before a vote can take place. (Only in rare circumstances anymore do senators seek to hold the floor in continuous debate.)
Sanders was perfectly happy to call Republicans’ demands for 60 votes “filibusters.” He should admit that’s what’s happening now, rather than engaging in verbal gymnastics to obscure the truth.
Once again: There is no “traditional” 60-vote “standard” or “rule” for Supreme Court nominations, no matter how much or how often Democrats claim otherwise.