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...
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...

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...
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...
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...
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...
Companies have returned, but job growth overall has not surged

Companies have returned, but job growth overall has not surged

We found that Trump exaggerated the job growth (it’s not unprecedented), but he has a point about companies moving back to the country. The most obvious way to look at this claim is to look at recent job growth rates. So we looked up month-to-month increases in jobs since 2011, when the economy started gaining jobs consistently after the Great Recession. The monthly gains since Trump became...
Polls back Pelosi’s claim of DREAM Act popularity

Polls back Pelosi’s claim of DREAM Act popularity

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., recently announced a deal with President Trump on protecting “Dreamers,” young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children and temporarily shielded from deportation under the Obama-era DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. This week, Pelosi claimed three-quarters of Americans support the...
Most don’t want ‘Dreamers’ deported, but Trump misstates number

Most don’t want ‘Dreamers’ deported, but Trump misstates number

President Donald Trump has questioned why undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children should be deported, a departure from the campaign when he advocated the removal of all who were violating immigration laws. Trump’s administration is phasing out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation...
PolitiFact: Handel exaggerates Obamacare tax effect

PolitiFact: Handel exaggerates Obamacare tax effect

PolitiFact last week looked at Georgia congresswoman Karen Handel’s characterization of the tax impact of Obamacare and at the New York attorney general’s statement that no court has ruled the DACA deferred deportation program unconstitutional. Summaries of our findings are here. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “The Affordable Care Act is the single largest tax...
DACA constitutionality hasn’t been settled in court

DACA constitutionality hasn’t been settled in court

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to rescind a deferred deportation program, claiming the program itself has not been ruled unconstitutional. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sept. 5 the end for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that protected from deportation immigrants...
Web story about Ga. mosque, Harvey funds was all fiction

Web story about Ga. mosque, Harvey funds was all fiction

Pure fabrication lies behind a story Facebook users flagged about a Georgia mosque sending Hurricane Harvey donations to Syrian refugees. A website called As American as Apple Pie posted this headline on Sept. 7: “Georgia Mosque KEEPS Hurricane Harvey Donations, Will Send To Syrian Refugees Instead.” The item cited Imam Sharaj Alkalb of the Ramazala Mosque in Peachton who allegedly said...
Handel overstates scale of Obamacare tax impact

Handel overstates scale of Obamacare tax impact

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., stands firm on the need to repeal Obamacare. In a recent telephone town hall, a voter asked why she was not a fan of repairing the Affordable Care Act. “The issue with quote ‘repairing the Affordable Care Act’ is the fact that it has so many taxes in it,” Handel said. “In fact, the Affordable Care Act is the single largest...
Corporate tax cut Trump touts wasn’t sole factor lifting economy

Corporate tax cut Trump touts wasn’t sole factor lifting economy

President Donald Trump invoked a Republican famous for tax cutting in an opinion article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that called on Congress to pass his tax reform bill. Some economists say Reagan’s reduction in the corporate tax rate helped boost the economy. But seven experts we spoke to were unanimous in saying a single tax cut can’t be credited for dramatic gains in an economy...
Sessions’ link of DACA, Central American influx is pretty weak

Sessions’ link of DACA, Central American influx is pretty weak

During his announcement that the Trump administration would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed the Obama-era policy for a surge in unaccompanied minors at the southern U.S. border that spiked in 2014. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States before turning 16 could apply for a renewable status that protected...
Web posts wrong: Pence supported Katrina relief bill

Web posts wrong: Pence supported Katrina relief bill

Left-leaning bloggers used the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to attack Vice President Mike Pence, saying he opposed relief for Hurricane Katrina while he was a congressman. Many partisans and political groups pointed to a speech Pence gave on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, implying that Pence would be unwilling to help Houston residents affected by Harvey. One such example...
Cruz overstates amount of relief funds that didn’t go for Sandy

Cruz overstates amount of relief funds that didn’t go for Sandy

Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains and flooding have revived memories of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s nay vote on federal relief for victims of superstorm Sandy. Cruz said he enthusiastically backed aid for Sandy’s victims, but the problem was the particular bill. “It became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork,” Cruz said on Aug. 28. Did two-thirds...
Kemp partly right about calls to remove Founding Father statues

Kemp partly right about calls to remove Founding Father statues

Amid the debate over Confederate statues, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp suggested a similar controversy is brewing over the Founding Fathers. For us fact-checkers, the key question is whether there is a cry to get rid of statues of Washington and Jefferson. A few people have said that, but whether there’s much of a drive is less certain. Between emailing the Kemp campaign...

Wages not rising? Trump was wrong

The most widely noticed remark in President Donald Trump’s Trump Tower lobby question-and-answer session Aug. 15 was his comments on the unrest in Charlottesville, Va. But one economic assertion caught our attention. As Trump was leaving, a reporter asked him what he thought “needs to be done to overcome the racial divides in this country?” “I really think jobs can have a big...
Trump wrong on U.S. exporting energy

Trump wrong on U.S. exporting energy

In a 75-minute rally speech that revisited his response to the Charlottesville, Va., unrest and scolded the national media, President Donald Trump slid in a note of pride about the United States’ balance of trade in energy. Was he correct about the United States being an energy exporter? Short answer: No. But to get to the short answer, you have to wade through several possible interpretations...
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