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article imageOp-Ed: President Obama never held a Supermajority

By Sadiq Green     Oct 24, 2012 in Politics
When Mitt Romney and Republicans say that Barack Obama had a supermajority in Congress for two years, they are lying. In an interview with The Des Moines Register, President Obama debunked that favorite talking point of Mitt Romney's.
Mitt Romney, conservative commentators and folks commenting here on DJ, are fond of saying President Obama held a supermajority in both the House and the Senate in his own party for his first two years. Romney’s statement is absolutely false, and President Obama thoroughly debunked it in an interview with The Des Moines Register.
Because Republicans were contesting the election of Al Franken, when President-elect Obama was sworn into office there were 58 Democrats. A supermajority is composed of 2/3 the Senate, and since 60 voters are required to overcome the filibuster rules, Obama didn’t even have the basic majority that he needed in order to pass legislation when he took office.
The idea that Obama had a two-year supermajority is yet another Romney and Republican lie. I cannot be sure how Mitt Romney defines a super majority, but the truth is that Mr. Obama and Democrats only had a filibuster-proof majority from July 7, 2009 whenAl Franken (D-MN) was ultimately seated , until August 25, 2009, when Ted Kennedy (D-MA), passed away.
That's only seven weeks, not two years.That is par for the course for Mitt Romney and his fuzzy arithmetic. Just like Tax-Evader in Cheif Romney's tax plan does not add up, Barack Obama never had a two year supermajority in Congress.
For Romney, who needs to be properly schooled once again , here is a more precise account:
- In January 2009, there were 56 Senate Democrats and two (2) independents who caucused with Democrats. This combined total of 58 included Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was ailing and unable to serve. So in actuality, in the early months of Obama's presidency, the Senate Democratic caucus had 57 members on the floor for day-to-day legislating.
- In April 2009, Pennsylvania's recently deceased Republican Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties. This meant there were 57 Democrats, and 2 independents who caucused with Democrats, for a caucus of 59. But with Kennedy absent, there were still only 58 Democratic caucus members in the chamber.
- In May 2009, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) was hospitalized, bringing the number of Senate Dems in the chamber back down to 57.
President Obama never had a two year supermajority. The President never had a one year supermajority. There was never a supermajority for Obama or Democrats. It is yet another lie told by a man and a campaign that need not be concerned with fact checkers or truth.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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