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October 06, 2011 2:01 pm ET

The House GOP's Crusade Against Reproductive Rights

In September, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, initiated an investigation of Planned Parenthood's financial records looking for misappropriated federal funds and requesting paperwork going back over 13 years. This Republican vendetta against Planned Parenthood is part of a larger fight in which Republicans are trying to prevent women from being in control of their reproductive health. To that end, House Republicans introduced a multitude of bills and amendments since January that would chip away at women's reproductive rights by eliminating Title X funding, defunding Planned Parenthood, imposing harsh restrictions on funding for abortions, replacing sexual education programs with abstinence-only programs, redefining rape to limit abortion exceptions, reinstating the global gag rule, supporting crisis pregnancy centers and imposing harsher parental notification laws.

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April 11, 2011 10:13 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 10, 2011

With a government shutdown narrowly averted this weekend, the Sunday shows focused naturally on spending issues. On CBS, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the absurd assertion that government spending caused the recession (and not rampant fraud on Wall Street), and falsely claimed that a balanced budget amendment would help our fiscal situation. On Fox, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) repeated a favorite GOP lie about entitlement programs — that they "are not gonna be there for me when I retire" unless voters allow conservatives to rip holes in the safety net. And on NBC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) misled viewers about his budget proposal that would undo safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps while cutting taxes for the richest Americans and protecting special interest tax loopholes for Big Oil. Meanwhile on ABC, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) seemed to have forgotten that he voted in February to eliminate all Title X funding for family planning services.

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January 25, 2011 4:19 pm ET

Rep. Pence Ignores Recent History In State Of The Union Prebuttal

In a one-minute speech at the outset of today's House session, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) predicted President Obama will portray the past two years of economic policy as "pulling the economy back from the brink," and disagreed with that view of the recent past. "Far from pulling our economy back, the weight of debt and taxes and regulation have stifled our economic recovery," Pence said. "Mr. President, we will not win the future with the failed economic policies of the past." Yet the private sector has added jobs each month for the past year, for a total of 1.3 million new private jobs in 2010. This steady job growth stands in stark contrast with the 800,000 job losses per month — a product of President Bush's "failed economic policies of the past" — that greeted President Obama at the start of his term.

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January 12, 2011 2:57 pm ET

A Year Later, Rep. Pence Still Lying About Imaginary "Permanent Bailout Authority" In Wall Street Reform Bill

Last January, Republican message maven Frank Luntz released a memo advising the GOP that "the single best way to kill any legislation is to link it to the Big Bank Bailout." With Democrats pushing to reform the casino-style practices on Wall Street that led to the recession, Republicans dug in and attacked the effort as a "permanent bailout" at every opportunity, but the bill became law last July. Now Republicans are talking about repealing the bill, and recycling the "permanent bailout" lie in the process. Today on C-SPAN, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) used Luntz's language to call for repeal, but the fact remains that the law actually ends the bailout culture — which is why Wall Street started giving money hand-over-fist to Republicans like Pence in the last election cycle.

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November 23, 2010 5:49 pm ET

Republican Criticism Of Quantitative Easing Impedes Economic Growth

One of the many policies Republicans have attacked of late is that of quantitative easing (QE) — a monetary policy used by central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, to increase the money supply by increasing excess reserves. QE is often used as a policy of last resort when normal methods of monetary expansion are no longer effective as a result of near-zero interest rates. Since the onset of the economic crisis, the Fed has introduced two rounds of quantitative easing, as economic growth remains sluggish. Republicans have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the policy, stoking fears of long-term inflation that will stunt economic growth. In doing so, they have effectively manipulated the market's reaction to the policy, thereby preventing potential benefits from taking effect. Moreover, Republican skepticism ignores the belief of many economists that monetary easing is integral to supporting economic growth and limiting the risk of deflation. 

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November 18, 2010 5:48 pm ET

Republicans Collectively Freak Out About The Ghailani Verdict

In the wake of a civilian court verdict convicting suspected terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani of only one of the over 280 charges brought against him, Republicans had a field day decrying the Obama administration's decision to try suspected terrorists before civilian courts instead of military tribunals. The denunciations ranged anywhere from declaring such a decision "insanity" to suggesting that the Obama administration "nearly allowed this terrorist to get away." In reality, there is no evidence that trying Ghailani in a military court would have produced a more severe verdict. Indeed, whereas terrorists tried in military commissions have served relatively short prison sentences, those tried in criminal courts have faced significantly longer prison terms.

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November 08, 2010 11:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 7, 2010

The Sunday shows were crowded with naked falsehoods yesterday. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed on Fox News that President Obama "has killed jobs" despite the fact that a resurgent private sector has added 1.1 million jobs so far this year. On CBS, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that 750,000 small businesses pay income taxes in the top two brackets, but that number only works if you include massive corporations like Bechtel and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which play accounting games to avoid corporate tax rates, in your definition of "small businesses." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) absurdly claimed on NBC that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) entitlement-slashing debt reduction plan requires more sacrifice from bureaucrats than from average Americans. Worst of all, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) claimed on ABC that tax cuts for the wealthy are good for the economy and don't increase the deficit. In the real world, of course, Pence is wrong on both counts.

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August 09, 2010 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 8, 2010

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Mike Pence (R-IN) dodged repeated questions about the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Both indirectly suggested that government doesn't need to pay for tax cuts. There is a clear consensus among economists across the political spectrum that tax cuts don't pay for themselves, and that letting tax cuts swell deficits is, in a Bush adviser's words, "just future taxes." Rep. Boehner also suggested Social Security is unsustainable, and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) agreed on Fox News Sunday. In fact, Social Security is solvent through 2037, and the shortfall thereafter is fairly small. Elsewhere, Tony Perkins told Face the Nation viewers that the Prop. 8 decision ignored the impact of no-fault divorce laws on marriage, when in fact the ruling specifically addressed the subject.

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July 27, 2010 1:41 pm ET

On False Tax Hike Charge, Rep. Pence Sticks To His Poorly-Aimed Guns

In a floor speech this morning, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) returned to the dishonest claim that Democrats are "poised to add tax increases to their agenda" and suggested that Democrats will increase taxes for everyone in January. Pence also attacked the Democrats' economic policy, claiming that Democratic policies have failed to fix our economy. The reality is that it was Pence's party that wrote an expiration date into the 2001 tax cuts that brought us this deficit — and Democrats are proposing to extend those cuts for 98% of Americans. What's more, the Recovery Act has turned the economy around and taken us from massive monthly job losses to slow but steady private-sector job growth.

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July 19, 2010 10:18 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 18, 2010

The political shows were busy on Sunday, with Indiana Republican Mike Pence misleading Fox News Sunday viewers about the Recovery Act and Sen. Cornyn misrepresenting the origins of the federal deficit on Meet the Press. Sen. McConnell told State of the Union viewers a flagrant lie about the Obama administration's response to the Gulf oil spill, and exaggerated the number of small businesses that benefit from the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Elsewhere, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions described the Tea Party as "one-third Democrat, one-third Republican" on Meet the Press despite clear evidence that Tea Party activists are overwhelmingly Republican. On Face the Nation, the task of defending Arizona's immigration law fell this week to former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who offered no new evidence to support his conviction that SB 1070 will not lead to ethnic profiling.

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June 14, 2010 10:11 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows — June 13, 2010

On Sunday, Carly Fiorina advanced her Senate campaign with a series of false Republican talking points about border security and her own background. Fiorina misrepresented her tenure at Hewlett-Packard, and lied about President Obama's funding for border security and the recently-departed head of the Minerals Management Service. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence called the Obama administration's handling of the gulf oil disaster "slow." A timeline shows that claim is false. And since it wouldn't be Sunday without a Republican voice misrepresenting the Recovery Act, Rep. Pence pretended the package did not cut taxes (it did) and that it is not turning the economy around (it is).

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May 03, 2010 10:00 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 2, 2010

The debate over Arizona's immigration enforcement statute dominated Sunday's political talk shows. On Face the Nation, Arizona Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth insisted that the Arizona law does not enable racial profiling, even though after modifications the bill will result in profiling.  And on Meet the Press, Rep. Mike Pence implied that the successful American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for growing unemployment to nearly 10% nationwide.

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April 15, 2010 9:39 am ET

Rep. Pence Lies, Denies Democrats Cut Americans' Taxes

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Mike Pence outright lied, saying President Obama and Congressional Democrats have not cut taxes. Despite Pence's partisan misinformation, Democratic leaders have cut taxes for 95% of Americans, resulting in the lowest tax level in sixty years.

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April 13, 2010 11:40 am ET

Rep. Pence Spreads The Lie That Wall Street Reform Is A "Permanent Bailout"

During an April 13, 2010 interview on Fox News, House Republican Conference chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) repeated the Frank Luntz talking point that reforming Wall Street would result in a "permanent bailout." The bill does not bail firms out, but safely dismantles any failed financial company that threatens the stability of the entire economy.  The dissolution fund is financed NOT by taxpayers, but by fees levied on financial companies.

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March 22, 2010 10:59 am ET

FLASHBACK: Rep. Pence Praised Bush's Executive Order Banning Abortion Funding

In a compromise with pro-life Democrats, President Obama agreed to issue an Executive Order restating the ban on federal funding for elective abortion.  Rather than praise the President, Rep. Mike Pence belittled the action, saying, "the American people will be fooled by this and the fact the President is signing a piece of paper." Yet when President Bush signed an Executive Order banning funding for abortion, Pence declared it was upholding "a fundamental axiom of western civilization," the "belief in the sanctity of human life."

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March 16, 2010 2:01 pm ET

Rep. Pence Wrongly Asserts Health Care Reform Funds Abortions

During a floor speech on March 16, 2010, Rep. Mike Pence falsely claimed the health care reform bill contained "public funding of abortion." In reality, the bill explicitly bans federal money from funding abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is endangered.

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February 25, 2010 3:16 pm ET

Even Before Summit, Republicans Declared It A Failure

Today the president is hosting a bipartisan, bicameral health care summit at the Blair House in hopes of finding the common ground between Republicans and Democrats.  Yet even before the summit had started, Republicans were publicly deriding it as a useless photo-op.

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September 16, 2009 11:59 am ET

Republicans Brazenly Misrepresent Cap-And-Trade Cost Numbers

On September 16, 2009, Republicans opposed to clean energy legislation circulated a blog post flaunting a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.  The documents include a cost-estimate of an out-dated, abandoned cap-and-trade plan that immediately auctioned 100% of carbon allowances.  The American Clean Energy and Security Act does not do this.  In order to contain costs, the bill initially awards allowances for free, rendering CEI's revelation meaningless.

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August 10, 2009 12:46 pm ET

Rep. Pence Claims Democrats Voted Down An Amendment That Passed

On August 10, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence was interviewed on WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, IN about health insurance reform.  During the interview, Pence claimed that Senate Democrats had voted down an amendment requiring members of Congress to enroll in the public plan if it's part of the eventual reform bill.  But that's blatantly false; the amendment passed.

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July 14, 2009 5:33 pm ET

Rep. Pence Relies On Misleading Talking Points From Health Insurance Industry-Funded Pollster

On July 14, 2009, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence issued a statement regarding health care reform.  Unfortunately, Rep. Pence simply regurgitated misleading talking points written by health insurance-industry funded pollster Frank Luntz.

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June 26, 2009 5:26 pm ET

AGAIN, Rep. Pence Falsely Claimed The American Clean Energy And Security Act Would Cause Job Losses

For the second time today, while speaking on the House floor, Rep. Mike Pence falsely stated the American Clean Energy and Security Act would "cost millions of American jobs." In reality, this legislation would create 1.7 million American jobs, reduce harmful emissions and help America become more energy independent - all for the price of a postage stamp per day.

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June 26, 2009 10:31 am ET

Rep. Pence Falsely Claimed The American Clean Energy And Security Act Would Cause Job Losses

While speaking on the House floor on June 26, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence falsely stated the American Clean Energy and Security Act would "cost millions of American jobs." In reality, this legislation would create 1.7 million American jobs, reduce harmful emissions and help America become more energy independent - all for the price of a postage stamp per day.

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June 25, 2009 2:10 pm ET

Rep. Mike Pence Disputes Reality

On June 25, 2009, in a speech on the House floor, Rep. Mike Pence claimed there was "no" dispute "the Democrat [sic] cap and trade bill will raise the cost of energy to every household in America, every small business, every family farm, and it will cost millions of American jobs." However, Pence has a dispute with the facts.

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June 25, 2009 10:00 am ET

Top Republicans Have Close Ties To Big Oil & Utility Companies

As the vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act draws near, Republicans in the House are sure to fight it tooth and nail.  However, examining their close ties to the oil, gas and electric utility industries raises the question: "Whose side are they on?"

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June 22, 2009 12:14 pm ET

Rep. Pence Distorts Obama's Position On Iran

In a Redstate blog post on June 22, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence made a number of false assertions regarding President Obama's reaction to the turmoil in Iran.

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June 18, 2009 4:27 pm ET

Rep. Pence:  A Lot Of Wrong In Just A Few Words

On June 18, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence penned a piece - titled "Freedom Can't Be Rationed" - that appeared in the American Spectator.  In addition to using the same old Luntz language, Rep. Pence is just flat out wrong on many points.

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June 12, 2009 4:45 pm ET

Rep. Pence's False Radio Address

In the Republican Radio Address set to air on Saturday, June 13, 2009, Rep. Mike Pence repeats false statistics and touts a Republican energy plan based on the failed policies of President Bush.

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June 10, 2009 9:50 am ET

Rep. Pence Repeats False Cap-And-Trade Cost Estimate

On June 9, 2009, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss the Republican alternative to the American Clean Energy and Security Act. During the interview, Rep. Pence repeated the false claim that the Democrats' cap-and-trade plan could raise energy costs by "some $3,000 per year per household."

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June 09, 2009 4:39 pm ET

The GOP's Misguided Attacks On The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act

Unable to escape the partisanship of Washington, DC, Congressional Republicans are out of touch with Americans who are witnessing the success of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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June 03, 2009 4:26 pm ET

Rep. Pence: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

On June 3, 2009, House Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence criticized Congressional Democrats for including non-troop items in a war funding bill.  Rep. Pence must have a short memory, because in 2007, he voted for a Bush war funding bill that included $17 billion in the non-troop items he now loathes.

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