MSNBC Substitute Host Karen Finney Falsely Claims Senate Passed Budget Two Weeks Ago

Apparently the Democratically controlled Senate miraculously passed a budget a mere two weeks ago, yet no media sources reported it. Until, that is, MSNBC contributor Karen Finney. The former DNC Communications Director made this laughable assertion on the August 15 Martin Bashir program she was substitute-hosting.

In a back-and-forth debate with RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, Finney, with a straight face claimed the Senate passed a budget two weeks ago.  Spicer didn’t let Ms. Finney continue her lie and immediately called her out on her false claim, which she promptly doubled down on, naturally.

As Reuters' new wire -- no right-wing rag -- as well as The Wall Street Journal, pointed out, Democrat Budget Committee Kent Conrad did propose a budget plan earlier this year, but the Senate never voted on any such proposal and has not passed a single budget in over three years.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid himself claimed that passing a budget wasn’t a necessity in the Senate and has no plans to officially propose one in the near future.

Spicer shot Finney’s false claims down and explained to her that the House passed their own budget this year and along with the Senate unanimously rejected President Obama’s budget. Martin Bashir’s program is known for flaunting Democratic talking points, but for once it was nice for an actual former DNC official to host the show to hear the distortions first-hand. 

Fortunately for viewers, Spicer was not going to roll over and let Finney mislead her audience on the failings of the Democratic Senate.   

 

**UPDATE (August 16, 10:15 a.m.): Karen Finney claims she misspoke on Martin Bashir Wednesday.  VIA Twitter she claims she meant the senate vote on house budget and senate vote to give middle class a tax cut 2 weeks ago.

 

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC
Martin Bashir
08/15/2012
4:08 p.m. EDT   

KAREN FINNEY: All right. So since we are in the season of silliness, this was supposed to be the time we were going to elevate the campaign, talk about the issues, but I want to take a look at Paul Ryan's VP debut interview on FOX.

BRIT HUME: The budget plan that you are now supporting would go get to balance when?

PAUL RYAN: Well, there are different -- the budget plan that Mitt Romney is supporting gets us down to 20% of GDP government spending by 2016.

HUME:  I get that but what about balance?

RYAN: Well I don't know exactly what our balance is because we haven’t, I don't want to get wonky on you but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.

FINNEY: Okay. Let's talk about this. So Paul Ryan's saying I don't want to get too wonkey on you, this is a little different than what he was saying obviously just a few days ago. And essentially could not give specifics. And time and again this has been a problem from the Romney campaign that we can't seem to get the specifics. So how can he assure us, I mean, that he is going to be able to accomplish this but can't give us the specifics? And the specifics that we have had actually show that I think it is ten years before we actually get there and, that frankly, the numbers are not adding up. Either on Paul Ryan's plan or Governor Romney's plan.

SEAN SPICER: Well, when you have a president that’s adding $5.2 trillion of new debt in the last three years, and a Democratic Senate that has not passed a budget in three years –

FINNEY: The Senate actually passed a budget two weeks ago.

SPICER: But that being said --

FINNEY: And the House couldn't pass -- you know.

SPICER: Wait. The Senate did what?

FINNEY: The Senate was actually able to get something passed and the House has rejected it.

SPICER: The Senate hasn't passed a budget in over three years.

FINNEY: That's actually not true but go ahead.

SPIER: Well, it may be your birthday but we can't give you free facts. Here’s the thing.  Again, this goes back to do you want to be honest with people when you put a budget together and you -- lay it all out, it needs to be scored and you put the policies in it and so to minimize this and say okay, well, you know, gosh, you are put together thing can't you tell us right off the bat, you know, it is a very complicated deal, he’s put his plan out on the table. He actually passed a budget. And as Chairman of the Budget Committee.

FINNEY: Wait a second. Let's not -- let's not do, you know, revisionist history and mythological thinking here. Because the budget that was passed out of the House, some of the Republicans in the Senate didn't want to vote on, it is not just the Democrats had some problems with it. And you now have members of your party running away from their vote in support of that budget because it is so wildly unpopular and I want to actually talk about Medicare because that's obviously been -- part of this budget conversation and Politico reports today that the House Republicans are so jittery about the budget, the Ryan and -- budget, that John Boehner had to do a conference call to calm people's fears. So, really, you are going to hang your hat on the Ryan budget?

SPIER: Well there's two things that I find very interesting. One, the only reason we are talking about the Ryan budget is because it actually passed. It was a budget that passed. The president's budget went down 97 to 0 in the Senate and I don't think it did any better in the House. So when you talk about actually when -- when you talk about two different budgets, the only one that's passed anything is the one --  

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.