Republicans Block DREAM Act, Another Old Media Lie

by Warner Todd Huston | December 20, 2010 11:30 am

The Old Media is up to its old tricks again, this time making the GOP the fall guy for the failure of the latest immigration bill. Nearly every news outlet is reporting that the Republicans have blocked the DREAM Act[1], many of these reports even say so right in the headline. The truth, however, is not that the GOP blocked it, but that the Democrats didn’t get all its own members to vote for it.

In fact, if the Democrats could have gotten five more of their own members to vote “yea” the bill would have passed cloture. As it happened they had five members vote no and one didn’t vote at all. If the Democrats could have marshaled all its strength it would have won the day. This is rightfully a Democrat failure, not a GOP blocking, as it should be remembered that the Democrats still have the majority in Congress, enough that if they’d have stayed together on this they could have won.

On Dec. 18 the Senate held a cloture vote on the immigration act called the DREAM Act. A cloture vote basically ends the debate period on a bill. After cloture is achieved a bill can proceed to a final floor vote to either pass or fail. For a bill to achieve cloture it needs 60 Senators to vote “yea.” The bill failed cloture getting only 55 votes in favor, 41 against.

Of those 55 “yea” votes, the DREAM Act attracted three GOP votes (Murkowski, Lugar, and Bennett) and the votes of the Senate’s two independents, Lieberman and Sanders.

On the “nay” side, though, five Democrats voted against the bill. If the Democrats could have gotten all their own to vote “yea” then this bill would have passed.

Naturally the Old Media is placing all the blame on the GOP. This story could easily be reported as a Democrat failure, a failure of Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep his own side in line. With five Democrats voting no and one not voting at all, these six votes would have been enough to gain cloture and pass the bill to the next phase. But Reid failed to keep his caucus voting together.

So, why isn’t this bill being reported as a Democrat failure? Because as far as the Old Media is concerned it is a better story to say that the mean ol’ Republicans hate kids, that’s why.

An Internet search of key phrases shows a preponderance of reports blaming the Republicans with the left-leaning news service Publicola[2], the Associated Press[3] and a report on NBC Chicago[4]‘s site all blaming the GOP right in their very headlines.

Additionally, many dozens of others have the “fact” that the Republicans blocked the cloture vote in the body of the story. Some reports even feature photos of the sad faces of Hispanic teens crying as they learned the news that the DREAM Act failed cloture.

With a headline that screams of the evil of the GOP, the AP’s treatment is typical of how the story is being reported across the Old Media establishment. The AP pointed its finger squarely at the GOP with its first paragraph, not to mention its headline.

Republicans Block Youth Immigration Bill

Senate Republicans on Saturday doomed an effort that would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military.

It’s all intended to leave the reader wondering HOW those nasty Republicans could be against those innocent, unassuming “youths”? Why, oh why do Republicans hate kids?

Again, the simple fact here is that Harry Reid failed to keep Democrats on track. Similarly, the GOP was not able to get all its members to vote together to oppose the act. So both sides failed to vote as a unified block yet, the media puts the onus on the Republicans?

Don’t you wonder why that is?

Here is the full roster listed by vote and party:

YEAs — 55

NAYs — 41

Not Voting — 4

  1. Republicans have blocked the DREAM Act:
  2. Publicola:
  3. Associated Press:
  4. NBC Chicago:

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