President Barack Obama and his Cabinet secretaries are running a full-court press warning Americans about the consequences of sequestration and goading Republicans to act to prevent it. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been making the rounds on political talk shows and appeared at a White House press conference. He says the sweeping spending cuts will force the Federal Aviation Administration to furlough employees, and that will mean headaches for travelers. "Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco and others could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak ...>> More
Raymond LaHood: "There's going to be a slowdown and delays in flights" as a result of the sequester.
Jimmy Carter: "When I ran against incumbent President Gerald Ford, you know how much money we raised? None."
During a recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, former President Jimmy Carter made a striking claim about how presidential campaigns had changed since Carter first ran against President Gerald Ford in 1976. Asked by Morgan about the challenges facing President Barack Obama, Carter said in the Feb. 21, 2013, interview that the presidency has "changed dramatically. As a matter of fact, when I ran against incumbent President Gerald Ford, you know how much money we raised? None." Coming off a 2012 election in which Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney together ...>> More
Bill Nelson: In a budget deal struck in 2011 "a trillion dollars of cuts went into effect immediately, and then a special committee was set up … to get agreement on another $3 trillion of cuts."
As Washington wrangles over how to avoid the sequester, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson spoke with a Central Florida news station to help explain the issue — and now viewers question his accuracy. Anchor Ybeth Bruzual had asked Nelson, a Democrat, about mandatory budget cuts set to go into effect March 1: "How did we get to this point?" Here’s what he told viewers of Central Florida News 13, a partner of PolitiFact Florida: "Well, a year and a half ago, when the country, in order to pay its bills, ...>> More
To pressure Congress to prevent the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration by the March 1, 2013, deadline, President Barack Obama gave a speech on Feb. 19 warning of dire consequences if it takes effect. "Emergency responders like the ones who are here today -- their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded," Obama said. "Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go." As we’ve noted, dire warnings about budget cuts are a popular tactic ...>> More
Barack Obama: Says if Congress doesn’t avoid the sequester, "tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids."
Will the sequester yank away parents’ child care? On March 1, mandatory federal budget cuts take effect that were supposed to be so painful that Congress would take action to avoid them. President Barack Obama has urged lawmakers to avoid the cuts, known as the sequester, and has been citing dire predictions about who might be hurt by the across-the-board reductions in a broad range of federal programs. On Feb. 19, 2013, he warned that if Congress didn’t take action, "tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble ...>> More
Barack Obama: If the sequester hits, "hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings."
In a recent speech, President Barack Obama said that key health programs will be cut if the sequester -- an across-the-board federal spending cut -- takes effect as scheduled on March 1, 2013. "Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings," Obama said. We wondered if his dire claim was accurate. First, let’s recap how the sequester works. Unless a deal is struck, most types of federal spending must be cut by a uniform amount -- tentatively ...>> More
Barack Obama: The sequester "won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions."
Over the past few years, President Barack Obama and Congress have lurched from one fiscal crisis to another. The latest, known as sequestration, would impose across-the-board cuts on most types of federal spending. To pressure Congress to prevent sequestration by the March 1, 2013, deadline, Obama gave a speech on Feb. 19 surrounded by law enforcement officers. "Emergency responders like the ones who are here today -- their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded," Obama said. "Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI ...>> More
Wayne LaPierre: Says after Hurricane Sandy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg "refused to allow the National Guard into the city to restore civil order because Guardsmen carry guns!"
Buy more guns, says Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, or you’ll be thrust into the "hellish world" of south Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy. LaPierre, in an appeal to gun owners published Feb. 13, 2013, by conservative news site Daily Caller, wrote that "looters ran wild." And, he added, the mayor didn’t help: "Anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already done everything he could to prevent law-abiding New Yorkers from owning guns, and he has made sure that no ordinary citizen will ever be allowed to carry a ...>> More
Wayne LaPierre: "The president flagrantly defies the 2006 federal law ordering the construction of a secure border fence along the entire Mexican border."
In a searing call to action that appeared in the conservative Daily Caller, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre encouraged Americans to arm themselves, join the NRA and recruit others in preparation against the growing threats of terrorism, economic instability and the policies of the Obama administration. "It has always been sensible for good citizens to own and carry firearms for lawful protection against violent criminals who prey on decent people," LaPierre wrote. "During the second Obama term, however, additional threats are growing." He cited drug gangs and other criminals who enter the United ...>> More
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre attracted wide media attention recently when he suggested in an op-ed that after Hurricane Sandy, New York City had become a violent, post-apocalyptic wasteland -- thanks to an absence of guns. A reader asked us to check out a claim in LaPierre’s op-ed, which ran on Feb. 13, 2013, op-ed in the conservative Daily Caller. "Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States," LaPierre said. "Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, and though the states ...>> More
Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives by 33 seats, an advantage Speaker John Boehner once suggested gives them a mandate to block tax increases. Some House Democrats have countered this idea with their own talking point: GOP members may control more seats, but they did not win the popular vote in 2012. U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, mentioned it to Capitol reporters on Feb. 12, 2013. "The American people elected a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and the majority of ...>> More
Last week's recommendation by the International Olympic Committee executive board to drop wrestling from the 2020 summer games prompted an outcry from lovers of the sport, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The IOC has been overcome by "kumbaya" thinking and should restore wrestling to the 2020 lineup, wrote Rumsfeld in a Washington Post op-ed. Rumsfeld was a wrestler at Princeton University who tried unsuccessfully to make the U.S. Olympic squad in 1956. In making his case, Rumsfeld noted that wrestling "once was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln’s." We ...>> More
John Cornyn: Says of a failed cloture vote on nominating Chuck Hagel for defense secretary: "This is not a filibuster."
Some Republicans in the U.S. Senate aren’t very happy that their old colleague, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, has now been nominated to be President Barack Obama’s defense secretary. Some don’t like what he said about the Iraq war. Others think he did a bad job at his confirmation hearings. Still others want to use the nomination to get more information out of the Obama administration about last year’s attacks on American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya. So when majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada brought the Hagel nomination to the floor ...>> More
During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama touted the country’s progress in reducing carbon pollution emissions but added that recent advances in fuel efficiency and renewable energy have not done enough to curb climate change. "For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change," Obama said. "Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent ...>> More
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama warned those who love Medicare that changes to the program are needed, because rising health care costs for seniors are "the biggest driver of our long-term debt." If changes aren’t made, Obama warned, "our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations." Obama said he was open to changes such as asking wealthier seniors to pay more, and paying hospitals and doctors to be more efficient. But he ...>> More
In his State of the Union address this week, President Barack Obama proposed an increase to the federal minimum wage, from the current $7.25 an hour to $9. And lest anyone hasten to cast that as a partisan proposal, Obama claimed to have support on the idea from an unlikely source: former presidential rival Mitt Romney. "Working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up, while CEO pay has never been higher. So here's an idea that Gov. Romney and I actually agreed on last year: ...>> More
President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that the country’s progress toward energy independence can be measured in miles per gallon. "Today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy. After years of talking about it, we're finally poised to control our own energy future," he said. "We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar, with tens ...>> More
Barack Obama: "Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts" to create a legal framework on counterterroris<wbr>m</wbr>.
After being criticized for using drones to kill suspected terrorists, including American citizens, President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that he has been transparent with Congress about his administration’s policy. "Where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans," Obama said. "Now, as we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That's why my administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism efforts. Throughout, we have ...>> More
Barack Obama: Says "overwhelming majorities of Americans" support gun legislation "like background checks."
President Barack Obama used his 2013 State of the Union address to urge Congress to vote on legislation to reduce gun violence. Victims of recent attacks deserve it, he said, and voters support some "common-sense reform." "Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around common-sense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun," he told lawmakers. Do "overwhelming majorities of Americans" support gun legislation such as background checks?
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio delivered the Republicans’ response to the State of the Union address, criticizing President Barack Obama on policy but also style. "Any time anyone opposes the president’s agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives," Rubio said. He named several examples, including the sweeping cuts to military and other spending set to take effect unless Congress and the president agree on deficit-reduction package. "Tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first ...>> More
During his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama touted his administration’s record on curbing illegal immigration. "We can build on the progress my administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years," Obama said. We looked at both parts of this claim during the second presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney. We don’t see substantive changes in the wording, and we haven’t found any updated data, so we will ...>> More
At several points in his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama noted the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy. "Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing," Obama said. "After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making ...>> More
Zoe Lofgren: "With the exception of slavery and the Chinese Exclusion Act, our laws have never barred persons from becoming citizens."
Rep. Zoe Lofgren says the United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants. During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 5, 2013, Lofgren, D-Calif., turned to the history books for perspective on the question of what status to grant newcomers to the United States. "What makes America special is that people come here, assimilate and become American with all of the rights and responsibilities citizenship bestows," Lofgren said. "With the exception of slavery and the Chinese Exclusion Act, our laws have never barred persons from becoming citizens, and we should not ...>> More
Facebook posts: "Washington, D.C., now has greater population than Wyoming and Vermont, more active duty military than 29 states, more tax revenue than 29 states (and) a larger domestic product than 27 states."
For decades, residents of Washington, D.C., have been clamoring for representation in Congress. Currently, the nation’s capital has only a non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives and no U.S. senators. The issue has been such a frustration that D.C. license plates feature the protest motto, "Taxation Without Representation." It’s against this backdrop that we noticed a Facebook post recently. Here’s the text: "Washington, D.C., now has: "Greater population than Wyoming & Vermont "More active duty military than 29 states "More tax revenue than 29 states "A larger ...>> More