‘The vote totals showed minimal to no bipartisanship….’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Touting—without evidence—a bipartisan track record, former Vice President Joe Biden last Friday falsely credited himself with garnering Republican votes for the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Obamacare.
“We need someone with proven ability to bring people together and do the hard work of getting legislation passed,” Biden said on Dec. 13 at a rally in San Antonio, Texas.
“I have done that before—finding the Republican votes for the Recovery Act, Obamacare, helping us from falling into a Great Depression,” he added.
While Politifact said a “reasonable interpretation” of the statement is that he was referring to bipartisanship between Democrats and Republicans, Biden’s staff said that he was talking about passing landmark legislation, not about earning Republican support for the legislation.
In 2009, amid the Great Recession, the stimulus package received the support of only three centrist Republicans: Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.
Zero House Republicans backed the bill.
Even with the three Republican Senate votes, it isn’t clear that Biden’s leadership led to the bill’s passage, as President Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party were lobbying for the legislation.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) did not earn any Republican support in the House or the Senate.
Once again, it is difficult to determine whether Biden was responsible for gathering the Democratic votes to pass Obamacare, since Obama and others may have had greater sway in the party.
“At most, those legislative wins show Biden can bring Democrats together,” Politifact generously reported. “The vote totals showed minimal to no bipartisanship.”