Rush Limbaugh on Barack Obama

11 January 2008

College dropout Rush Limbaugh has once again shown that he cannot be bothered with basic fact-checking. He recently said this on his radio program:

The fact that [Hillary Clinton is] losing to somebody with no experience, the fact that she's losing -- do you know this guy [Barack Obama] -- you look at his record in the Senate, you won't find a Senate bill with his name on it. You won't find a Senate bill with the Breck Girl's [John Edwards] name on it -- other than a couple of post offices being named for people in North Carolina. First-term senators don't get much done, certainly not under their own names. And she's losing to somebody with veritably no experience whatsoever.
Actually, Obama sponsored 152 bills and resolutions brought before the 109th Congress, and cosponsored another 427. In the 110th Congress, he has introduced 55 bills, and is listed as a sponsor for 113 bills and resolutions. All this took was a simple search through the Library of Congress website. It's really easy to do, for those of us who have access to the Internet.

Simply put: you will find his name on plenty of Senate bills.

However, one must keep in mind that during the 109th Congress, there was a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, as well as a Republican President wielding the veto power. This makes it very hard for a junior Democratic senator to get legislation actually passed.

Also, as I've noted before, the 110th Congress has been marked by record-breaking use of the filibuster by the Republican minority, as well as veto threats by the President. Again, this is an environment that makes it very difficult to pass legislation.

Nonetheless, Obama was able to pass the "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" in 2006, providing for greater openness and transparency in government expenditures. It even resulted in an online searchable federal spending database, where anyone can go to see where their tax dollars are being spent. He also passed the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act," strengthening public disclosure of lobbyists' activity and funding, putting more restrictions on the ability of Congressmen to accept gifts, and establishing mandatory disclosure of earmarks in expenditure bills.

Of course, not everything Obama proposes will make it past his colleagues, or survive a veto threat. But there certainly are "Senate bills with his name on them," and to say otherwise is extremely poor journalism.

UPDATE: Just in case you might have mistaken Limbaugh for a serious commentator, take note that this is how he covers Barack Obama.

UPDATE II: Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas repeats this false meme.
The Congress, of which Obama is now only a freshman member with no legislation he can point to that has his name on it. . . .
UPDATE III: Just to give some more examples of legislation bearing Obama's name:
S.116 : A bill to authorize resources to provide students with opportunities for summer learning through summer learning grants.
Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 1/4/2007) Cosponsors (3)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
S.453 : A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections.
Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 1/31/2007) Cosponsors (20)
Committees: Senate Judiciary
Senate Reports: 110-191
S.697 : A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to improve higher education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 4/5/2005) Cosponsors (2)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

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