Sen. Jon Kyl (file)
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Kyl’s comments changed in Congressional Record

Remember the lie Sen. Jon Kyl told about Planned Parenthood? The lie that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is provide abortion services? (it’s really three percent as we’ve previously discussed at length). The lie that led to a Stephen Colbert campaign of ridicule aimed at Sen. Kyl for his office’s explanation that the remark was “not intended to be a factual statement?”

Well… there’s a bit of a new development to this story. The Senator’s statements don’t appear in the Congressional Record exactly as delivered. Why? As explained on the Library of Congress’ website:

The Congressional Record is not an exact record of the proceedings and debate in the House and Senate. As previously stated, it is a substantially verbatim report…

In addition, Members of both Houses are allowed to edit the transcript of their remarks before publication in the daily Record, permanent Record, or both. Also, by unanimous consent, House Members may be granted leave to revise and extend their remarks. Senators may be given permission to have inserted in the Record, at the point where they stopped speaking, any unfinished remarks.

So… while on the Senate floor, Sen. Kyl said, “If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” But now the Congressional Record is tweaked omitting a few key words of that sentence, like so: “If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

It should be noted - changes to the Congressional Record happen a lot. It is, after all, a historical document. And 300 years from now do we really want an official Congressional Record with a huge fact bomb in it? It’s a hard question to answer. Is tweaking the Record responsible or Orwellian? Have your say in the comments section and Lawrence will give his take in tonight’s Rewrite.

Click here to read the official (and tweaked) Congressional Record for yourself. Below you can see a screen grab of the relevant passage. I’ve left two three messages with Sen. Kyl’s press secretary. I’ll update this post with his reaction once if I hear back from him.

Kyl's comments changed in Congressional Record

Jon Kyl and Planned Parenthood

Kyl's comments changed in Congressional Record