Saturday, 22 September 2012 10:31

FoxNews, MSNBC, Roberts, Newsbusters: How long did Obama control Congress?

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romney-obama-smallHow long did President Barack Obama control Congress after being sworn in January 2009?


This issue has become a simmering controversy during this Presidential election.   The GOP and friends want to say that Obama controlled Congress for two years and did not get anything done--except for causing harm when he did do something, so why re-elect him again. The Democrats insist that it is a stretch to say that Obama controlled Congress for two years due to a series of events in the U.S. Senate.  Their point is, if President Obama had control over the U.S. Congress, he would have even more successful and so the country should give him four more years.

Today, this issue crossed my mind as this tweet crossed my eyes:

MSNBC specializes in lying for the Odoofus

So, being a curious sort, I decided to click to the FoxNews site which then referred me another, Newsbusters.
I know that this question has caused quite a stir in the Conservative world as Newsbusters, which promotes itself as fighting and exposing the “liberal media”, has stated, “Republican strategist Alice Stewart raised that point during a chat with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning, blasting Obama for it and saying that he had two years in his term in which his party ran both houses of Congress. That's an indisputable fact, but Roberts insisted that Stewart was wrong on the length of time that Democrats in Obama's term controlled both the House and Senate.

Here is the conversation:

ROBERTS: So – Alice Romney was slammed for jumping on the situation in Libya – jumped on the redistribution remarks kind of pulling them out of context now he’s giving another knee jerk reaction by seizing on the change remarks – when basically he campaigned that way in ’08 – why does that seem so different from Mitt Romney in his own words in ’08 from what the president said on Univision the other day.

ALICE STEWART: Well – there’s a big difference in Romney saying it and President Obama saying it – when Obama saying that the biggest thing he’s learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside – newsflash he’s been on the inside for the past four years and we have a terrible economy.  We have a terrible crisis overseas and he’s had ­not only that – he had control over the House and Senate for the first two years while he was in office and he failed to make things better for the American people.

ROBERTS: Alice technically it wasn’t the first two years it was for only several months because of the ongoing political races that were still taking place – you know that right. It wasn’t for a full two years.

STEWART: He had control of the House and Senate for the first half of his presidency and he had the opportunity to put polices in place that would help create a strong economy and create jobs for the American people – and at the end of the day the American people cannot say that their lives are better off than when he took office and he said himself if he can’t turn the economy around and he can’t create jobs it’ll be a one-term proposition and it’s looking more like that everyday.

ROBERTS:  Alice – according to the calendar that’s factually not true that he had control for two years, but I’ll move on.

Newsbusters then stated, “
The ObamaCare debate, in which the Democrats had majorities in the House and Senate, lasted longer than several months.  In fact, it took up almost a whole year. During Obama's first two years, his Democratic allies in Congress passed not only Obamacare, but Cash for ClunkersCash for CaulkersDollars for Dishwashers, Dodd-Frank, and the massive debt-ballooning stimulus.

Democrats won big in 2006 -- when they took the House from Republicans -- and 2008.  They had a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate during much of the first two years of President Obama’s first term and a sizable majority in the House.  Roberts's use of Congress's many recesses to dismiss the two-year number is patently ludicrous.

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At NewsBusters, we watch the liberal media so you don't have to! But we can only provide the immediate exposure of liberal media bias and insightful analysis if we have your support

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After surfing the Internet, I discovered this blog post which writer Don contends that the Democrats did not control the U.S. Senate for an entire two years..

President needed 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. Apparently no one remembers that Scott Brown was sworn into office in February of 2010.  At that time, the President had only been in office for ONE year.  Most folks remember that the election of Scott Brown reduced the number of Democratic senators to 59.  So the President could not have possibly had Congressional control for two years.

January 20, 2009 – After suffering a seizure during Barack Obama’s inaugural luncheon, Senator Ted Kennedy’s health forced him to retreat to Massachusetts.

May 15, 2009- Senator Robert Byrd was admitted to the hospital.

July 7, 2009-  Sen Al Franken was sworn in.

July 21, 2009  Senator Byrd returned to the Senate (59 votes)

August 25, 2009- Senator Kennedy died August 25, 2009

September 24, 2009- Paul G. Kirk was appointed to occupy his seat until the completion of a special election. (60)

Until September 2009 Democrats only had 59 votes at most and could not get nothing passed because of the Do Nothing Republicans! Republican filibustered every bill put on the floor and that’s a Fact. Most filibuster congress in History.

Democrats had a 60 seat majority from September 24, 2009 thru February 4, 2010.   4 months; not 2 years!!


I know that Don does not have the resources of Newsbusters and the conservative bloggers, but, is he correct?

In promoting its point, Newsbusters did not give details other than listing stimulus and other legislation that passed Congress.

So, to satisfy me and perhaps others who might be rather confused on this point, especially if you do not follow Congress 24/7/365, someone with knowledge and authority, please set the record straight!

Maybe Roberts could provide specific details as to why he is so right and just maybe Newsbusters can tell us why it is insisting that the liberals are lying here.


Heavens forbid. If we cannot agree upon simple issues governing the past, how the heck are we going to figure out tomorrow?

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