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July 25, 2011 10:12 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 24, 2011

This week's Sunday shows were largely about the struggle to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. On Fox News Sunday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed Obama's policies for "out of control" spending without noting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recession, and the Bush tax cuts are the primary drivers of debt and deficits. He also touted the deeply problematic balanced budget amendment. On CNN, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) claimed that the House-passed GOP budget eliminated all corporate loopholes when it really secures tax breaks for big oil, all while necessitating a middle-class tax hike. Price also minimized the very serious effects of the checks that won't get paid out if the debt limit isn't raised by August 2nd. Later, Tim Pawlenty falsely claimed that President Obama is responsible for tripling deficits within his term. On Face the Nation, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) wrongly said that spending alone is the problem driving deficits. Finally, on Meet the Press, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) justified the GOP's efforts to obstruct debt ceiling negotiations by distorting credit rating agencies' warnings, and then blamed Democrats for the GOP-driven politicization of a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill.

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April 25, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 24, 2011

On Easter Sunday, two Republicans expressed the same dangerous, sweet-sounding idea about the debt limit. According to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), we needn't worry about raising the limit because the Treasury can still make interest payments without borrowing further. That may be music to voters' ears, but economists say that such a move would undermine the recovery and wipe out investor confidence in the U.S., causing the economy to spiral downward. Coburn went on to falsely claim that the president has not included entitlement reform in his debt-reduction plans. Elsewhere on Sunday, would-be 2012 candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) told Fox that the GOP's Medicare plan is "identical" to the Affordable Care Act and wouldn't cost seniors anything extra, while Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AL) told CBS that the plan does not replace traditional Medicare with a voucher system. None of these claims is true.

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January 18, 2011 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 16, 2011

With the multiple murders in Tucson still casting a long shadow over the political landscape, much of the Sunday talk shows were given over to discussions of gun control policy and political rhetoric. On NBC, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) pointed out that the Tucson shooter would not have been able to get a gun if he had been "taken under [psychiatric] care." Indeed, that is what the law says — but in reality, weak cooperation between states and the FBI on mental health records means the database used by gun sellers includes just half the mental health information it should. Despite the focus on political violence, Coburn was also asked about health care reform, and he falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act eschews "market forces" in favor of a 'takeover' of health care. Meanwhile, on Fox News, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) claimed a voucher system would do a better job of expanding access to insurance than the Affordable Care Act. Pawlenty and Coburn each said the landmark bill will not drive down insurance costs, but they are wrong.

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November 23, 2010 4:28 pm ET

Sen. Coburn's Op-Ed Misleads On Content Of Food Safety Bill

In an op-ed published in USA Today, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) suggests "leverag[ing] the free market" as an alternative to the food safety bill pending in the Senate. Coburn uses ridiculous logic to argue that the bill, which would empower the Food and Drug Administration to prevent future outbreaks of food-borne illness and strengthen inspection of imported food, will double down on ineffective bureaucracy that stifles food safety. In the process, Coburn minimizes legitimate concerns over food safety, misrepresents a report from the Government Accountability Office, and ignores provisions of the bill that address the very problems that Coburn claims the bill fails to take on. 

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June 10, 2010 6:34 pm ET

Sen. Coburn's Bogus Attacks On Sotomayor, Kagan And International Law

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February 25, 2010 10:38 am ET

Health Care Reform Summit: The GOP "Away Team"

The GOP Summit "Away Team" will have a rocky landing at President Obama's bipartisan summit on health care reform.  These 18 members of Congress have made no secret of their staunch opposition to health care reform - no matter how much their constituents support it or how it would benefit their districts.

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December 17, 2009 11:00 am ET

Sen. Coburn Sends GOP-Approved Lies To The Wall Street Journal

The evening of December 16, 2009 - the same day he tried to force a lengthy delay of a vote to fund our troops - Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  As usual, Sen. Coburn relied on GOP-approved talking points instead of anything resembling factual information.

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December 01, 2009 11:52 am ET

Republican Senators Have Voted To Cut $1.31 Trillion From Medicare

During Senate debate this morning, several Republican Senators took to the floor to encourage passage of the McCain amendment and to discuss their wrong interpretation of Medicare funding in the Democrats' health care reform legislation.  What is most interesting about this morning's debate is that these senators who falsely accused Democrats of cutting Medicare have themselves cut Medicare by $1.31 trillion during their collective tenure in Congress.

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July 16, 2009 12:54 pm ET

Sen. Coburn Can't Make Up His Mind On The Application Of Foreign Law

On July 16, 2009, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor, "where do we stand in this country when 80% of the rest of the world allows abortion only before 12 weeks?" However, the very previous day, he stated, "we don't want judges to consider legislation and foreign law that's developed through bodies, elected bodies outside of this country."

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May 01, 2009 10:27 am ET

In Their Own Words: The Majority's Prerogative

In 2005, many Republican Senators went so far as to claim the filibuster of judicial nominees was unconstitutional. Now four years later, with President Obama's first Supreme Court appointment looming, will they remain consistent in their position or commit one of the most blatant acts of hypocrisy in the 220-year history of the United States Senate?

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