The GOP: Grand Obstruction Party

Republicans have been making noise for a couple of weeks about how little the U.S. Senate is allegedly getting done now that Democrats have a scant majority and it's past time to set the record straight. Given their role in intentionally obstructing almost every issue that's come before the 110th Congress, the Senate's GOP leadership criticizing the Upper House's 2007 progress is a bit like Ann Coulter blaming the media for the impression that she's a bile-spewing gargoyle.

And the compelling thing is that this is all a matter of public record and not something that people need to believe simply because it comes from the Democratic leadership or yours truly.

The fact is that Senate Republicans have obstructed almost every bill in the Senate so far this year - and this includes the ones with wide, bipartisan support.

In the first half of the first session of the 110th Congress, there have been 13 cloture votes on motions to proceed. This kind of formal vote to simply proceed with debate isn't often required and only occurs when one party cannot agree to even move forward with debate and a subsequent up-or-down vote on an issue.

Republicans have forced 13 of those in less than six months. To give you an idea of how obstructionist that is, there were only four cloture votes on motions to proceed in the two years comprising the first sessions of the 108th and 109th Congresses.

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