Orrin Hatch Is "Present" 

Sen. Orrin Hatch likes to brag that he doesn’t usually vote against cloture on nominees and never on judicial nominees—that is, that he doesn’t support the filibuster of nominees by preventing an up-or-down confirmation vote in the full Senate. He’s a liar, yet again.

He recently voted to continue the filibuster of President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and he routinely does so to block the president’s judicial nominees. However, instead of voting “no” on cloture votes (votes on whether or not to end debate and let a nominee or bill proceed to a majority-wins vote), he is frequently the lone senator voting “present.” His dishonesty lies in the fact that with cloture votes, 60 “yes” votes are required to proceed—so voting “present,” or really anything but “yes,” is the exact same thing as voting “no.”

It’s outrageous that he is able to repeatedly get away with this sneaky little game, all to be able to maintain his smug and completely false insistence that he, out of principle, doesn’t vote to filibuster nominees. Hatch has no real principles, except the self-interest in doing the bidding of his filthy-rich benefactors and donors.

STUART MCDONALD
Salt Lake City

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