Archive for supermajority

California Democrats lose supermajority


spend time with family

I knew it was too good to last. The Fresno Bee is reporting that my home state of California is losing its Democratic supermajority because Sen. Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) is immediately resigning his seat in the state Senate.

Rubio's reason is the one we usually hear, but in this case, it seems to be genuine: He wants to spend more time with his family.

The Bee:

The news came as a complete surprise in the Capitol community. Most notably, it removes the Democratic supermajority in the statehouse before the party's legislators ever got a chance to flex their newly won political muscles... While Democrats are no doubt favorites to ultimately retain enough seats to resume their supermajority status, the temporary drop in power ends talk of any immediate actions on issues ranging from taxes to urgency measures and beyond.

More details at the link. Meantime, here is Rubio's full statement, via his website:

As many of you know, a little over a year ago I decided not to run for the United States Congress to meet the needs of my growing family.

My time serving since then has been a blessing, but it has also been a challenge.  I have missed too many family dinners, bedtime stories and parent-teacher conferences.

My wife and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, from whom we have learned a great deal.  Our youngest child, who has special needs, has given me great perspective as to life’s priorities and our eldest has reminded me that the most critical decisions are made at home and not under the Capitol dome.  

I have realized that my current professional path has left little opportunity to be home for those who are most important to me, which is why I am making a change.

Effective today, I am stepping away from my current position and resigning from the California State Senate.

As for what’s next, I have officially accepted a position with Chevron Corporation to serve as manager of California government affairs.  I look forward to transitioning into a career that will allow me to seize a generational opportunity and work for a respected California company with deep roots in Kern County near the very oil fields where I was born. 

I am truly grateful for the rare opportunity to serve and the support I have been given. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

In my absence, Senate staff will remain in the district and Capitol offices to respond to the needs of residents of the 16th State Senate District--as they have always done.


President Obama never had a 2-year, or even a 1-year, supermajority in Congress


Via The War Room with Jennifer Granholm

I've  previously written about the myth of a Democratic supermajority in Congress, something Willard M. Romney loves to talk about, augmenting his other blatant lies, saying: “Remember that he [Obama] had a supermajority in both the House and the Senate in his own party for his first two years.” He uses that line to criticize President Obama for "blaming Congress" for the country's economic problems.

Now the president himself is finally debunking that whopper.

Our friends at Politicususa have the the transcript from The Des Moines Register of their interview with President Obama, which is subscriber only and inaccessible to TPC. Many thanks to them for grabbing this:

Q: Yes, that begs a question from us, Mr. President. Some say you had a super majority in your first two years and had this incredible opportunity, but because of what you were talking about, as you were running, you had to go to get Obamacare done. Do you have any regrets taking on some of the economic issues, some of the issues that we’re talking about for your second term, that when you had the chance, so to speak, during your first — do you have any regrets that you didn’t do that at that time?

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely not, Laura. Remember the context. First of all, Mitch McConnell has imposed an ironclad filibuster from the first day I was in office. And that’s not speculation. I mean, this is — it’s amply recorded. He gave a speech saying, my task is to defeat the President.

So we were able to pass emergency action with the stimulus, but we had to get two votes from Republicans. One of them essentially was driven out of the party — Arlen Specter, who recently passed away. We then — because Al Franken hadn’t been seated, didn’t have 60 votes until essentiallythere was a four- or five-month span. But at that point, we had already put in place the Recovery Act. We had already moved forward to help states avoid teacher layoffs and so forth. [...]

In fact, the first stimulus, when we were contracting at 8 percent a quarter, as I was on my way up — a month after I’d been elected, or two months after I’d been elected — as I was on my way up to meet the House Republicans to share with them my ideas about how we should pass this Recovery Act,they already said they’d vote against it.

Politicususa adds:

Because Republicans contested the election of Al Franken, when 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.

And here's another excerpt via Sully (you should really read his entire piece):

This stood out to me in “The Lies of Mitt Romney III“:

“we remember the president’s own party had a super majority in both houses for his first two years”

I’m not sure how Romney defines a super majority, but my recollection was that the Dems only had a filibuster-proof majority (including two independents) from the time that Al Franken was finally seated (July 7, 2009) until the point that Teddy Kennedy passed away (August 25, 2009). That’s only seven weeks, not two years.

And there was never a supermajority in the House as Romney claims. The balance at the start of the Congress was 257 – 178, which is a Democratic share of only 59 percent, not 67. So again, Romney simply lied. Obama never had a super majority in both Houses, let alone for two years. In the Senate, his super-majority lasted seven weeks.

Just as the myth that the president sets gas prices has been debunked, so has the supermajority lie. Those who perpetuate these delusional assertions are doing the country no favors, including self-serving Republicans, but also those in the media who fail to set the record straight.