PolitiFact: Blunt has a point on Congress’ sex harassment policy

The U.S. Senate needs to clean up its own house when it comes to sexual harassment charges, regardless of whether Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore wins his Dec. 12 election, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has argued. Accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore have dominated his campaign. Sexual misconduct claims were also made against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who announced his resignation on Dec....
The U.S. Senate needs to clean up its own house when it comes to sexual harassment charges, regardless of whether Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore wins his Dec. 12 election, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt...

PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year: Trump’s denial of Russian meddling

A mountain of evidence points to a fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those included the cyber-theft of private data, placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public...
A mountain of evidence points to a fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir...
PolitiFact: Trump correct on U.S. Jerusalem legislation

PolitiFact: Trump correct on U.S. Jerusalem legislation

President Donald Trump on Dec. 6 unveiled a new policy regarding Israel’s capital city, stating “it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” and that preparation would begin to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv. The 1995 law Trump cited mandated that the embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999. However, Palestinians also consider...
PolitiFact: Sessions’ crime statistics accurate but not a trend

PolitiFact: Sessions’ crime statistics accurate but not a trend

In Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony to Congress about Russia in November, he brought up a recent increase in the rate of violent crime and murder in the United States. Sessions got his information from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2016. After doing some math, we found that from 2014 to 2016 the violent crime rate increased by 6.8 percent, and the murder rate increased by...

PolitiFact: Lack of documentation a civil offense, not crime

Albany, N.Y., Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan said in a national television interview that it’s not a crime for immigrants to live in the U.S. without documentation. “The U.S. Supreme Court has said that,” she said while defending her city’s status as a so-called “sanctuary city” to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Albany’s police do not report undocumented immigrants...
PolitiFact roundup: Ga. child care cost and GOP tax-plan benefits

PolitiFact roundup: Ga. child care cost and GOP tax-plan benefits

Recent claims PolitiFact checked out included a claim by a Georgia candidate for governor on the cost of child care and claims by two prominent Republicans in Congress on the GOP tax-overhaul plan. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “The average cost for infant care in GA is almost $7,700/yr – more than average in-state college tuition...
PolitiFact: Brady cherry-picks statistic on tax bill’s benefit

PolitiFact: Brady cherry-picks statistic on tax bill’s benefit

As crunch time in Congress approaches, Republicans are aggressively making the case that their tax bills will allow a broad swath of Americans to benefit. When we took a closer look at one claim by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, we found his statistic somewhat misleading. Brady’s office pointed us to an analysis of the House bill by the...
PolitiFact: Rubio’s figure off, but point is right on payroll tax

PolitiFact: Rubio’s figure off, but point is right on payroll tax

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has worked to persuade Republican leaders to expand the child tax credit so the tax overhaul benefits more working families. To do this, Rubio said he wants to make the credit refundable against payroll taxes. The Republican tax framework proposes increasing the credit from the current $1,000 and raising the income threshold at which the credit phases out, but it does not...
PolitiFact: Abrams’ cost claim isn’t true for all child care

PolitiFact: Abrams’ cost claim isn’t true for all child care

While announcing her child-care plan, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed that the average cost of child care in Georgia is more than the average in-state tuition. The claim first appeared Nov.15 in a tweet promoting “The Bold Action for a Bright Future Plan.” Abrams’ campaign pulled this information from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning...
PolitiFact: Thune basically right about who pays Obamacare fines

PolitiFact: Thune basically right about who pays Obamacare fines

Senate Republicans’ move to include in their tax reform bill a repeal of the requirement to have health insurance revealed numbers few people had noted before. (The mandate says that everyone must have coverage or face a fine.) Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said, “We’re taking a failed policy that punishes people with taxes — low-income people.” In 2016, the fine for not having...
PolitiFact: Impact of immigration program depends on what’s counted

PolitiFact: Impact of immigration program depends on what’s counted

Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro claimed the U.S. economy would be hurt if the Trump administration eliminated an immigration protection mostly benefitting Central Americans. The U.S. government routinely reviews whether to extend or terminate a country’s Temporary Protected Status designation, applied to countries with ongoing armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and other extraordinary...
PolitiFact: Cuomo’s assessment of GOP tax intent incomplete

PolitiFact: Cuomo’s assessment of GOP tax intent incomplete

When some Republican senators pushed to end a key part of the Affordable Care Act as part of their tax-overhaul bill, Democratic critics including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pounced. We examined his characterization and found his phrasing misses some important points, including this one: Many Americans would be choosing to give up their health insurance if the individual mandate were lifted. That&rsquo...
PolitiFact roundup: guns, tax bill, Obamacare

PolitiFact roundup: guns, tax bill, Obamacare

Recent claims PolitiFact checked out included a Georgia legislator’s claim that the Las Vegas mass killer’s use of a bump stock may have kept his death toll lower; President Trump’s characterization of a key Obamacare provision as “highly unpopular;” and a Democratic senator’s claim that Republicans haven’t followed usual, proper procedures for having their...

PolitiFact: Popularity of Obamacare key varies with who asks

While President Donald Trump was overseas, he urged on congressional Republicans who were forging ahead with their tax plans, and suggested including an end to the “individual mandate” in Obamacare. We wondered if that provision, the health care law’s requirement that most people have coverage, is “highly unpopular,” as he said. Polling shows it is the least popular of...
PolitiFact: Durbin incorrect on tax bill review

PolitiFact: Durbin incorrect on tax bill review

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., offered several arguments against Republican efforts to pass a tax bill during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” One criticism was procedural, echoing earlier Democratic complaints that Republican bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act had been crafted behind closed doors and without normal steps such as committee hearings...
PolitiFact: Did bump stock prevent Las Vegas deaths? No

PolitiFact: Did bump stock prevent Las Vegas deaths? No

Some legislators see the legal manufacture and use of bump stocks — found on 12 of the 23 guns in the Las Vegas gunman’s Mandalay Bay hotel room — as a loophole in firearms regulation. State Sen. Michael Williams, a Republican candidate in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary, recently came out against any legislation banning the devices, which can be attached to a semiautomatic...
PolitiFact: GOP tax plan impacts and visa lottery fraud

PolitiFact: GOP tax plan impacts and visa lottery fraud

Recent claims PolitiFact checked out included one by Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., on the Republican tax proposal; one by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on a tax deduction the GOP tax plan would eliminate; and one by Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., on a State Department lottery for visa applicants. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. We found his statement...
Questions, answers on American mass shootings

Questions, answers on American mass shootings

The massacre of 26 worshipers at a rural Texas church is the latest in a series of mass shootings across America in recent years. Each tragedy spurs arguments about gun violence, mental health, how much firearms should be regulated and what’s driving the prevalence of mass shootings. PolitiFact has worked for years to research these topics. Here are answers to some questions you may have. How...
PolitiFact: Perdue right, fraud is a problem in visa lottery

PolitiFact: Perdue right, fraud is a problem in visa lottery

We wanted to know the accuracy of Sen. David Perdue’s claim of fraud in the diversity visa program, and we found government reports and officials have identified fraud as a problem. The State Department said it did not have data to determine how widespread the problem is, and experts told us they were unaware of quantitative estimates. The diversity visa program, administered by the State Department...
PolitiFact: Feinstein overstates teacher deduction’s impact

PolitiFact: Feinstein overstates teacher deduction’s impact

As congressional Republicans tout the benefits of their party’s tax proposal, Democratic lawmakers are trying to pick the bill apart, provision by provision. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., took aim at one specific element of the bill that is of interest to many K-12 teachers. The tax bill House Republicans unveiled would have scrapped a provision in the tax code that allows teachers...
PolitiFact: Ferguson’s tax numbers right, but not whole story

PolitiFact: Ferguson’s tax numbers right, but not whole story

Rep. Drew Ferguson told a constituent how the Republican tax plan would benefit a “typical” family. We found his statement exaggerates how long the average family of four will enjoy those tax savings. Ferguson’s office said he had been citing a comment from House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose office told us in a related check that Ryan had been referring to a House Ways and Means Committee...
PolitiFact: Trump expanded, didn’t start, action against ISIS

PolitiFact: Trump expanded, didn’t start, action against ISIS

Recent claims by politicians and others PolitiFact checked out included President Trump’s assertion of his administration’s mightier effort than his predecessor against ISIS; Sen. Edward Markey’s claim of an increase in HIV linked to heroin and fentanyl use; and Trump’s calling the diversity visa lottery program “a Chuck Schumer beauty.” Here are summaries of our...
PolitiFact: Trump misplaces visa-lottery blame on Schumer

PolitiFact: Trump misplaces visa-lottery blame on Schumer

The roots of the diversity visa program are in a 1965 overhaul that led to large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Latin America. It moved from a country-by-country quota system to neutral country-of-origin selection criteria. By the late 1970s and 1980s, a large group of Irish nationals had arrived on temporary visas and overstayed, remaining in the country illegally. Irish-American and Italian-American...
PolitiFact: Markey bases heroin claim on limited information

PolitiFact: Markey bases heroin claim on limited information

Democratic Sen. Edward J. Markey said that the Trump administration’s plan to use funds from HIV and AIDS programs to fight the opioid addiction crisis is unsound. Specifically, the Massachusetts senator said that increased opioid abuse has led to an increase in HIV and AIDS. We found some truth to Markey’s claim but not enough national data to fully back it. The Centers for Disease Control...
PolitiFact: Trump built on anti-ISIS campaign Obama began

PolitiFact: Trump built on anti-ISIS campaign Obama began

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to hit the Islamic State hard, and the armed fundamentalist group has suffered major losses on his watch. In July, coalition forces broke ISIS’ hold on Mosul, the largest Iraqi city under their control. In October, they were forced out of Raqqa, the Syrian city the Islamic State claimed as the capital of its would-be caliphate. Based on numbers...
PolitiFact: Checking Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump and Michael Moore

PolitiFact: Checking Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump and Michael Moore

PolitiFact last week looked at claims by Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the mortgage tax deduction, President Trump on insurance company profits under Obamacare, and filmmaker Michael Moore on homicide victims killed with their own guns. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. The state and local tax deduction is a major benefit for moderate-income households because...
PolitiFact: Data doesn’t back claim on those killed with own guns

PolitiFact: Data doesn’t back claim on those killed with own guns

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore’s response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas was to propose rewriting the Second Amendment, providing a laundry list of statistics to support his arguments for increased gun control. Polling shows that self-defense is the top reason most gun owners purchase their weapons, but we wondered whether Moore’s numbers were right. We attempted to contact Moore...
PolitiFact: Trump wrong on source of insurers’ ‘fortune’

PolitiFact: Trump wrong on source of insurers’ ‘fortune’

There’s no question that the insurance companies’ profits have been enormous. The question is, was Obamacare the cash cow? Based on the the companies’ filings and the analysis of people on Wall Street, at universities and a respected neutral health policy group, the answer is, no. The White House press office pointed to a news article that reported booming profits for the top five...

PolitiFact: Pelosi gives partial picture of deduction’s benefit

As Congress moved toward consideration of a major tax overhaul, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., raised a warning about one element of President Donald Trump’s proposal, ending the deduction for state and local tax payments. A reader suggested we take a closer look at her assertion, so we did. We found Pelosi’s numbers are on target but the suggestion that this deduction primarily...
PolitiFact: Cagle cites wrong source on homicides by immigrants

PolitiFact: Cagle cites wrong source on homicides by immigrants

PolitiFact last week looked at two claims by candidates for Georgia governor, from Casey Cagle on homicides committed by immigrants and from Stacey Abrams on her opponent’s voting record on school vouchers. We also checked a comment by Missouri Senator Roy Blunt on the growth of the U.S. tax code. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. A Homeland...
PolitiFact: Blunt correct, vast tax code keeps getting bigger

PolitiFact: Blunt correct, vast tax code keeps getting bigger

Has tax code really doubled in 32 years? We decided to see if Blunt is right. His office pointed us to an article from the Tax Foundation, which defines itself as an independent, nonprofit think tank. . “In 1955, the Internal Revenue Code stood at 409,000 words. Since then, it has grown to a total of 2.4 million words: almost six times as long as it was in 1955 and almost twice as long as in...
PolitiFact: Abrams’ claim on Evans, vouchers leaves information out

PolitiFact: Abrams’ claim on Evans, vouchers leaves information out

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial front-runners Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans have both taken a firm stance against privatized public education and especially school vouchers. But at a recent forum featuring the two candidates, Abrams accused Evans of voting for vouchers when she was a state representative. “You voted for vouchers. You didn’t vote for it the last two times, but you voted...
PolitiFact: Cagle links ‘sanctuary cities,’ homicides; data doesn’t

PolitiFact: Cagle links ‘sanctuary cities,’ homicides; data doesn’t

Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, told an Atlanta news station that the City of Decatur may be in violation of a state law prohibiting sanctuary cities. “Sanctuary city” is a term commonly used for a jurisdiction that limits its cooperation with immigration authorities. “Well, they are not cooperating with (U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement), and the important feature...
PolitiFact: Schumer wrong on Trump tax plan, NRA right on gun device

PolitiFact: Schumer wrong on Trump tax plan, NRA right on gun device

PolitiFact last week looked at two claims by Democrat Charles Schumer, Senate minority leader, on the effects of Republican plans on taxes and Medicare; and at a National Rifle Association assertion that the Obama administration twice approved the sale of bump stocks for firearms, a device used by the Las Vegas mass killer. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact...
PolitiFact: Schumer overstates GOP budget, tax plan link

PolitiFact: Schumer overstates GOP budget, tax plan link

The link between the proposed tax cuts and possible cuts to Medicare is more complicated than Schumer described. Schumer’s staff said the Senate Republicans’ budget proposal, unveiled Sept. 29, would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The Medicare and Medicaid cuts Schumer cited come from relatively hard-to-find numbers released by the Senate Budget Committee,...
PolitiFact: ATF under Obama said law doesn’t regulate bump stocks

PolitiFact: ATF under Obama said law doesn’t regulate bump stocks

In a rare move, the National Rifle Association issued a statement calling for regulation of the device that turned the Las Vegas shooter’s rifles more deadly, blaming Barack Obama’s administration for its approval. A bump or fire stock is a device that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire bullets as quickly as a machine gun. At least 12 of the Las Vegas shooter’s guns were outfitted...
PolitiFact: Schumer’s slant on Trump tax plan wrong

PolitiFact: Schumer’s slant on Trump tax plan wrong

Trump’s tax plan would increase the lowest tax rate and increase the number of people who don’t have to pay federal income tax. The lowest earners currently have a federal income tax rate of 10 percent. Those are single filers who earn up to $9,325 and married couples who earn up to $18,650 in 2017. Trump’s tax plan would increase that from 10 percent to 12 percent. The White House...
PolitiFact: Maternity leave, Obamacare premiums and Georgia voter roll

PolitiFact: Maternity leave, Obamacare premiums and Georgia voter roll

PolitiFact last week looked at claims by two U.S. senators, on paid maternity leave and Obamacare insurance premium increases; and a foundation’s allegation that Bryan County, Georgia, had “corrupt” voter rolls. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “We’re the only developed nation in the world that doesn’t have paid...
PolitiFact: Cornyn correct, premiums have risen a lot

PolitiFact: Cornyn correct, premiums have risen a lot

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told a Texas constituent that insurance premiums have increased by more than 105 percent since 2013, under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. This claim, we found, stems from a reputable report, though the percentage cited by Cornyn merits explanatory clarifications. Cornyn spokesman Drew Brandewie traced the 105 percent figure to a five-page May 2017 report from the...
PolitiFact: Group used wrong numbers to rip Ga. county’s voter rolls

PolitiFact: Group used wrong numbers to rip Ga. county’s voter rolls

An Indianapolis-based advocacy group issued a news release Sept. 25 with a stunning headline: “24 states show corrupted voter rolls.” The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which aims to keep voter rolls as up-to-date as possible, had sent letters to nearly 250 counties. Bryan County, Georgia, was among them. The group’s letter to county elections supervisor Cindy Reynolds said the...
Some states require paid maternity leave; country doesn’t

Some states require paid maternity leave; country doesn’t

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill made several bold statements during dozens of town hall meetings in August but one claim, about paid maternity leave, caught our attention. Last year, PolitiFact rated a similar statement by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as Mostly True, but a lot can change in year. So we decided McCaskill’s statement was worth a follow-up. The most frequently used measure of...
PolitiFact roundup: Football protests, border catapults and Kasim Reed

PolitiFact roundup: Football protests, border catapults and Kasim Reed

PolitiFact last week looked at claims by President Donald Trump about NFL ratings and catapults along the Mexican border, and Atlanta mayoral candidate John Eaves’ criticism that outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed hasn’t taken much of a part in addressing regional concerns. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many...
Not much evidence backs up Eaves’ criticism of Reed

Not much evidence backs up Eaves’ criticism of Reed

At a recent candidate forum in Atlanta’s mayoral race, John Eaves touted his credentials as a force for broad economic development. The former Fulton County chairman said he understands what the job requires. “I’ve been there, done that,” Eaves said. “The current city mayor has been virtually absent in terms of regional cooperation the last eight years. As mayor of Atlanta...
Catapults do hurl drugs over border. People hit in head? Doubtful

Catapults do hurl drugs over border. People hit in head? Doubtful

A border wall with Mexico is happening, but it has to be see-through so that Americans aren’t knocked out by 100 pounds of drugs catapulted across the border, President Donald Trump told supporters. “Believe it or not, this is the kind of stuff that happens. So you need to have a great wall, but it has to be see-through,” Trump said when talking about catapults used to sling caches...
PolitiFact: Trump overstates NFL ratings, attendance declines

PolitiFact: Trump overstates NFL ratings, attendance declines

Trump seems to be overstating rating declines, and we found little evidence of a political motivation for them. The numbers for 2017 so far are inconclusive. Advertising Age media reporter Anthony Crupi told us he estimated a decline of around 9 percent in ratings since last year, although the only window to face a significant decline was for 1 p.m. regional games. But we only have full data for the...
Politifact roundup: Trump, Kemp, Cruz: false, half true, mostly false

Politifact roundup: Trump, Kemp, Cruz: false, half true, mostly false

PolitiFact last week looked at claims by the president on stagnant wages, by a Georgia gubernatorial candidate on campaigns to remove statues of some historical figures, and by a Texas senator on disaster relief previously allocated after Hurricane Sandy. Summaries of our findings are here. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. Wages “haven’t gone up for a long time.&rdquo...
PolitiFact roundup: Trump, Pelosi on “Dreamers”; Trump on new jobs

PolitiFact roundup: Trump, Pelosi on “Dreamers”; Trump on new jobs

PolitiFact last week looked at claims by President Donald Trump and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on public sentiment about immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children, and Trump’s claim about U.S. job growth and companies returning jobs to the U.S. Summaries of our findings are here. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. Says “92 percent of the people agree...
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