Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

September 30, 2013

Fact check: Slippery claims on health law, budget

(Continued)

___

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-Texas: “Today, the House of Representatives did what Washington pundits only a few weeks ago said was impossible: A strong bipartisan majority voted to defund Obamacare.” — Statement after the Sept. 20 House vote.

McCARTHY: “That’s why today when we acted, it wasn’t just a group of Republicans, but it was a bipartisan vote. Let me state that again because I want to make sure you write it correctly. (Laughter in the room). It was a bipartisan vote because we’re Americans.” — At the post-vote House GOP rally Sept. 20.

THE FACTS: Still chuckling.

Bipartisan might be in the eye of the beholder but the vote passing the resolution was far from it.

Only two Democrats voted with the Republican majority, Reps. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah. Only one Republican voted with the Democrats, Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell. The 230-189 vote illustrated bitter partisan divisions, not a harmonious we’re-all-Americans moment.

A strong bipartisan vote to do away with the health care law remains impossible.

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HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR, R-Va.: “We’re seeing our economy turn from a full-time job economy into a part-time job economy.” — Cantor blamed this on “Obamacare” in the House GOP rally after the budget vote.

SEBELIUS: “Actually that just isn’t true. What we see is an increase in full-time jobs. There’s a decrease in the number of Americans working part-time hours.” — On CNN, Thursday.

THE FACTS: Cantor’s statement reflects fears of what might happen over time. Sebelius’ statement rests on statistics, though selective ones.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of people working part-time involuntarily — because of slack work or business conditions or because they can’t find full-time jobs — was 7.9 million in August. That’s down by a hair from a year earlier, when it was 8 million. In that time, the average weekly hours worked also went up marginally. And unemployment overall dropped to 7.3 percent from 8.1 percent. These figures support Sebelius.

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