AP, Seattle Times Blame GOP for Downing DREAM Act; In Truth, Five Democrats' Votes Scuttled Cloture

December 18th, 2010 4:30 PM

Today liberal Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60-vote threshold to end debate on and move to a final passage vote for the DREAM Act.

In covering the story, the news wire credited Republican opposition for "doom[ing]" the legislation, but the math doesn't work out when you look at the breakdown of the votes on the motion to end debate -- also known as invoking cloture. [h/t reader Kevin Davis]

"Republicans block youth immigration bill," the Seattle Times headlined today's AP story on the DREAM Act vote, which began with dark, loaded language that painted Republicans in a sinister light (emphasis mine):

Senate Republicans on Saturday doomed an effort that would have given hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military.


Sponsors of the DREAM Act fell five votes short of the 60 they needed to break through largely GOP opposition and win its enactment before Republicans take over the House and narrow Democrats' majority in the Senate next month.

In the lame duck Senate, Democrats and the liberal independents who caucus with them account for 58 senators, two votes shy of the 60-vote threshold to close debate. On cloture votes, Democrats -- plus Sens. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sanders (I-Vt.) -- need just two of the chamber's Republicans to join them in order to shut off debate.

Today's AP article itself noted -- in the 16th paragraph -- that three Republicans joined most Democrats in voting yes on ending debate. Had all the Democrats held together, there would have been exactly 60 votes -- Sen. Joe Machin of West Virginia did not vote -- ensuring a final vote would have been held on the DREAM Act.

Five Democrats did in fact defect from the party line and voted no on closing debate.

As such, those Democrats "doomed" the DREAM Act.

But why let the truth get in the way of a good liberal media meme?