Iowa Senate Candidate: Democrats Haven’t Passed a Budget in Four Years Because of Filibustering Republicans, or Something

Posted: Mar 05, 2013 7:00 PM

Guy touched on this subject earlier today, but I nevertheless wanted to remind readers that this clip is another pitch-perfect example of a misinformed Democrat -- in this case, Iowa Senate hopeful Bruce Braley -- spending too much time digesting the Senate Majority Leader’s false talking points and not enough time doing his own homework (via Michael Warren and Ed Morrissey):

"How is that possible? One word," Braley replied. "The filibuster."

Braley blamed Senate Republicans for holding up business by imposing a 60-vote supermajority on moving forward on the debate. "[It's] incredibly frustrating to everyone in the House, Democrat and Republican," he said. "And I know it's incredibly frustrating to Senator Harkin."

And this man wants to be a United States Senator? Yikes. It really is difficult to comprehend how a candidate running for a seat in the world's most prestigious legislative body could say something so false and misleading on public television. Then again, demonizing Congressional Republicans is a much more effective way to get elected than telling the truth, and -- in fairness -- he’s merely following a well-established precedent. To wit, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Jack Lew -- now President Obama’s own handpicked Treasury Secretary -- made this exact same point on Meet the Press last year:

“[I]t takes sixty not fifty votes to pass something.”

These comments raise an inescapable question: Do Democrats knowingly lie to the public for political gain, or does they really not understand -- as Ed points outs -- that budget proposals need only a simple majority to pass and thus cannot be filibustered? It’s exceedingly difficult to imagine these answers weren't contrived beforehand, of course, but if Braley really isn’t familiar with how the upper chamber operates -- as he should be -- that pretty much sums up everything we need to know about him.

In any case, for those interested, here are the nuts and bolts of the budgetary process Senate Democrats -- as stipulated by federal law -- have shirked for four straight years (via Guy Benson):

Step one, draft a budget in committee.
Step two, mark up the budget in committee.
Step three, vote on the proposal in committee.
Step four (after you advance it, generally along party lines), debate the budget.
Step six (after the speeches through and amendments are offered), vote on the budget.
Step seven, pass the budget with at least 51 votes -- only a simple majority is needed; filibusters do not apply.

Perhaps Mr. Braley should have read this post and learned more about the budget process before embarrassing himself on television and damaging his credibility. Regrettably, though, how many voters actually noticed the Senate hopeful was flagrantly lying and blaming Republicans for his own party’s failures? Here's to hoping most of them did.