The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler examines recent claims made in Washington and on the campaign trail about the budget and the economy and determines which are fact and which are fiction.
“But we also need to be honest. You can’t pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes and you can’t get 60 votes without bipartisan support. So unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed. And I think he was reflecting the reality of that that could be a challenge.” — White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog gave this claim four Pinocchios, a rating that means it's a highly misleading claim. Glenn Kessler writes, "Lew is completely wrong when he claims that 60 votes are needed to 'pass a budget in the Senate.' As he well knows, a budget resolution is one of the few things that are not subject to a filibuster. In fact, that is one reason why a bill based on reconciliation instructions cannot be filibustered. You don’t even need 50 votes, just a simple majority. Here are a few of the recent close votes for the budget resolution, as listed by CRS: 48-45 (2009 budget); 51-49 (2006); 51-50 (2004); 50-48 (2001). Senate Democrats may have reasons for failing to pass a budget plan — such as wanting to avoid casting politically inconvenient votes — but a GOP filibuster is not one of them. " Chris Usher/AP Buy Photo