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Greg Sargent Calls Out the Execrable Washington Post for Publishing Orrin Hatch


Orrin Hatch Rewrites History Of His Own Voting Record On Reconciliation: As you’ve heard, Senator Orrin Hatch published a long article in today’s Washington Post warning that if Dems pass health reform via reconciliation, it will pose a dire threat to our fragile experiment in democracy. In composing this treatise, Hatch naturally faced a problem: How to address the numerous times he voted for reconciliation measures himself? His solution: He simply omitted all mention of his numerous votes for reconciliation measures that passed by a simple majority. Here’s the entire portion where Hatch deals with his own record on reconciliation:

Both parties have used the process, but only when the bills in question stuck close to dealing with the budget. In instances in which other substantive legislation was included, the legislation had significant bipartisan support. For example, Congress used reconciliation to carry welfare reform in 1996, which ultimately passed with 78 votes. And when reconciliation was used to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that I authored with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 1997, the program got 85 votes and served as the glue to passing the first balanced budget in 40 years.

As you can see, in this passage Hatch only mentioned the reconciliation votes for measures that passed by huge majorities. But here are the votes he didn’t bother mentioning:

  • Hatch voted for the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which passed by a simple majority (58-33) via reconciliation.
  • Hatch voted for the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, accelerating the Bush tax cuts and adding new ones, which passed by a simple majority via reconciliation — 50-50 in the Senate with Dick Cheney casting the tiebreaking vote.
  • Hatch voted for the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, reducing Medicaid spending and allowing parents of disabled children to buy into Medicaid, which passed by a simple majority (52-47) via reconciliation.
  • Hatch voted for the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, extending the Bush tax cuts for some tax brackets, which passed by a simple majority (54-44) via reconciliation.

It’s one thing to argue, as Hatch and many others have, that previous reconciliation votes were somehow different from the vote Dems are preparing. It’s taking things to a whole new level to completely omit any mention of a whole series of votes you took because they inconveniently reveal that your entire argument is bogus.

Shame on the Washington Post for publishing this.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?