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WaPost fact checkers gives Bernie Sanders ‘Three Pinocchios’ for big lie about Gorsuch filibuster

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The Washington Post accused Sen. Bernie Sanders of trying to “obscure the truth” about plans by Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

In a “Fact Checker” blog published Wednesday, writer Glenn Kessler called out Sanders for lying and using “verbal gymnastics” to push a “convoluted claim” that there is no filibuster planned.

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The report cited an exchange on CNN’s “State of the Union,” March 26, 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.”


But, Kessler argued, the “standard” of 60 votes is a “false talking point” of Democrats.

“Sanders is using the technical language of arcane Senate procedures to an absurd extreme,” he wrote.

“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,” Kessler continued. “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.)”

Kessler concluded that Sanders and Democrats are simply misleading about their efforts to filibuster, something they always complained about when they GOP attempted to block votes when they were in the minority.

“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,” Kessler wrote, awarding the Vermont senator “Three Pinocchios” which is characterized as “mostly false.”

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“Once again,” Kessler added, “There is no “traditional” 60-vote ‘standard’ or ‘rule’ for Supreme Court nominations, no matter how much or how often Democrats claim otherwise.

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Frieda Powers


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