“Here’s what’s more disconcerting. Their [Republicans] willingness to say no to everything — the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them.”
– President Obama, remarks at a DCCC dinner, May 7, 2014
In addressing a dinner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles, President Obama made a rather striking claim—that Senate Republicans have filibustered “500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class.”
Regular readers knows that The Fact Checker has objected to the way that Senate Democrats tally these figures, but the president’s claim makes little sense no matter how you do the numbers.
Skipping to the conclusion:
The Pinocchio Test
On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous.
We realize that Senate rules are complex and difficult to understand, but the president did serve in the Senate and should be familiar with its terms and procedures. Looking at the numbers, he might have been able to make a case that Republicans have blocked about 50 bills that he had wanted passed, such as an increase in the minimum wage. But instead he inflated the numbers to such an extent that he even included votes in which he, as senator, supported a filibuster.