February 3rd, 2010
03:41 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Senate cloture votes

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Were there more cloture votes in the Senate last year than in all of the 1950s and 1960s combined? (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - President Barack Obama Wednesday accused Republicans of packing "20 years of obstruction into one." Speaking to Senate Democrats, he declared, "You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and '60s combined."

Fact Check: Were there more cloture votes in the Senate last year than in all of the 1950s and 1960s combined?

– A vote to end filibuster debate is called a cloture vote. From the 81st Congress (1949-1950) through the 91st Congress (1969-1970), there were a total of 30 votes on cloture. There were no more than seven cloture votes in any single session during those years.

– Starting with the 92nd Congress (1971-72), cloture votes became more frequent. Part of that can be explained by the fact that the Senate changed the required majority in 1975, making it easier to induce cloture.

– The 110th Congress (2007-2008) is the record-holder so far: There were 112 votes on cloture during that two-year period.

– So far, the 11th Congress (2009-2010) has held 41 cloture votes, 39 of them last year, two more this year.

Bottom Line: President Obama is correct. There were 39 cloture votes last year, nine more than the combined total for 1949-1970.


Filed under: Fact Check • Popular Posts • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Another misleading use of "statistics". There is an increasing trend. When Democrats held the majority in Congress, the same statement could have been made. Nice to see that hypocrisy and attempts to mislead the American people are still thriving in Obama's administration. Propoganda, propoganda, propoganda...but guess what, Mr. Obama? We can only be fooled by rhetoric and empty words just so much....

    February 3, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. found work without help of stimulus or obama

    Obama, if you want Integrity, then you should QUIT lieing and do the job you promised ibstead of trying to be a Black Hitler, you Lie

    Impeach Obama

    February 3, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. j

    What's wrong with this picture? Maybe there should be one government for those that prefer the liberal viewpoint and one for those that prefer the conservative. Give people the option of choosing which government they want to be a part of and an option for changing that selection every so often... then see which government ends up with the most constituents after a 10 – 20 year period and go with that one from that point forward.

    February 3, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Fact checking is something you do not see on Fox Nitwit News. Once again, our president is correct, and the republicans are on the wrong side of history. The pubs should start running scared, as even Fox cannot keep this quiet from the American people.

    February 3, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Susan

    And Republicans continute to destroy this country.

    February 3, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. For the people

    yep...if the Republicans can't get there way there is simply NO room for compromise. No wonder we can't get a damn thing done and Americans suffer. Great.

    February 3, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Showtime - Tampa

    "The 110th Congress (2007-2008) is the record-holder so far: There were 112 votes on cloture during that two-year period." Se we are on pace to be less than 70% of what the immediately prior congress held AND YET, CNN somehow gives BHO a True on his statement of ""20 years of obstruction into one."

    What a bunch of horse pucky!!! People must really be stupid and must just believe what ever is spoon fed them by so many unethical media types....HOW SAD!

    February 3, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    If what he is trying to do is promote a more partisan way of thinking, he will succeed. But that's not what America needs or wants to see right now. He is completely out of touch.

    February 3, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Steve in Denver

    Gosh, I love a President who knows his stuff!

    February 3, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Rickster

    lolol...Obama is the most pathetic, two-faced nitwit ever to set foot in Washington. This is just more of his highly-touted "non-partisanship".

    You democrats owe the rest of the country an apology for sending this loser to The White House.

    February 3, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Tram

    The GOP is full of obstructionists who won't help get this country back on track. They were the ones who derailed the USA. They should help fix it - oh, but that would mean they'd have to admit they screwed up royally and committed crimes they haven't been convicted of yet.

    February 3, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Mike in MN

    A filibuster really only works as obstruction if there are enough votes to support it. There have not been so the only thing that really happened is that there had to be a vote to break the filibuster, no legislation was obstructed.
    It would be very interesting to see how may filibusters Democrats had during 2001 – 2006.

    February 3, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Opus X

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with the legislation they are ramming down our throats. Thank God someone is putting the brakes on.

    February 3, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Looks like President Obama is constantly educating Republicans who can't figure their way out of a paper sack. President Obama is smart and Repugs don't like or respect him, they'd rather call him names attacking his intelligence by calling him arrogant. I've never heard any other President being called arrogant, what's up with that.

    February 3, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. JS

    This is actually a well-written article, right down to the "bottom line" where things fall apart. How can this not be labeled as correct, but misleading? The fact that the pace of cloture votes are actually down from the 110th Congress (with a Democratic Congress doing it's best to block a Republican President) is far more relevant than the fact Obama cites.

    February 3, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Shmeckell

    I wonder if the quality of leadership has anything to do with it.

    February 3, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Bob in Pa

    That’s the thing here, if you lower the bar on cloture votes required, you get poor legislation passed. New legislation should only be brought up for a vote when a large majority agrees on the principles of it.

    No more middle of the night garbage written by second and third grade lawyers from lobbyists and special interest groups. The American people deserve better or in this case, less from their governement.

    February 3, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Rick

    Republicans the party of no!!!!! There's your proof.

    February 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Tracy

    So? Maybe the problem is less with philibustering and more with the bills being presented.

    February 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Kevin in Ohio

    That is because Republicans generally gave in whenever the democrats threatened filibuster, which was more times than you can count..This congress does not give in AT ALL. They are incapable of listening to the American people, and seem hell bent on moving their socilaistic agenda forward. Ten months till elections.......

    February 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Bob in Pa

    Return the power to the people – 2/3rds vote for cloture. It will make these Senators actually read and think about what they are doing. If it's not good for both parties, then it's not good legislation, and it's not good for us.

    February 3, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Jay Smooth

    The President was correct as usual. The Rethugs can only try to block things while not having any ideas of their own. Remember: What goes around comes around and if the Rettugs ever get back in power again they will get the same treatment they give out.

    February 3, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Chris Matt

    Where would we be without our republican friends?

    February 3, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. cph9680

    Stop writing bad legislation, then all this crap wouldn't be necessary.

    February 3, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Len (Colorado)

    THE GOP is the Party of "NO". America Wake up, from day one of the Obama Administration, the GOP decided to block everything. They have no ideas and really donot care about the majority of Americans.

    Stop listening to ............You know who I am talking about, I do not need to list their names.

    February 3, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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