President Barack Obama told a "really big whopper" when he blamed Republicans in Congress for blocking job-creating legislation, said Sen. John Thune.
The problem in creating jobs legislation was not with Republicans, but with the refusal of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow bills and amendments to come to a vote, Thune told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
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In his weekly address on July 12, President Obama continued his recent attacks on the GOP, saying, "So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class."
"The Washington Post fact checker . . . basically busted the president on that statement — gave him three Pinocchios, which means this is a really big whopper that he's been telling," the South Dakota Republican said on Thursday. "If you look at the facts, they tell an entirely different story."
Thune explained the House had passed "four times as many bills as the Democrat-led Senate." Of the 120 bills Obama signed into law this year, he said only "about a quarter of those originated in the Democrat-controlled Senate."
"The president has a problem on Capitol Hill, but it's not with Republicans. It's with his party, the Democrats who consistently block job-creating bills, things that would get our economy growing again," he said.
Thune said Reid had turned the floor of the Senate into a "political circus," allowing primarily "show votes that are designed to try and to give (Democrats) a political advantage going into the fall campaigns." He said Reid had shelved "any meaningful or serious legislation."
"The floor of the Senate has been shut down by Harry Reid, who has made a decision that he doesn't want to expose his Democrat members to any difficult votes going into this election. And, so, he's going to use the floor of the Senate simply to try and get votes that he thinks will make them look good," Thune said.
A solution would be if Senate Republicans won "the majority in the fall campaign," Thune said, adding if that happened, the Senate would "return to regular order, we will consider amendments, we will vote."
"That what's Senators are sent here to do. If you don't want to make hard votes, you shouldn't run for the United States Senate," Thune said.
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