Speaker-to-be Boehner often speaks the truth
Rep. John Boehner told reporters this week that Congress" job, in light of the election, "is to listen to the American people and follow the will of the American people."
But with Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, a lot of people will be listening to Boehner, too.
The Republican minority leader from West Chester, near Cincinnati, is in line now to become speaker of the House when the new Congress is sworn into office in January.
While the new Republican majority won"t take control for a few months yet, PolitiFact already been listening to what Boehner has to say.
PolitiFact.com and PolitiFact Ohio together have reviewed 31 statements made by Boehner since May 2008. They show that the speaker-to-be often speaks the truth.
Fourteen of the 31 statements earned top ratings of True or Mostly True. Here"s a sampling of those comments:
- Members of Congress did not have three days to read the bill "when the stimulus was rushed into law."
- Under the new health care law, "if a landscaper wants to buy a new lawnmower, or a restaurant needs a new ice-maker, they have to report that to the feds."
- "Our national debt … is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy … in just two more years."
Another eight statements had some truth to them, too, rated either Half True or Barely True.
Conversely, only nine times were Boehner"s words rated as False statements. Of those, eight involved claims he made in opposition to health care reform legislation that became law in March and the American Recovery Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus plan, that was approved in February 2009.
Here"s a sampling:
- "Forcing Americans off of their current health coverage and onto a government-run plan isn"t the answer, but that"s exactly what the Democrats" plan would do."
- The Democrat-backed health care reform plan "will require (Americans) to subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars."
- "In North Carolina, they used stimulus money to hire one new state worker. His job, apply for more stimulus funds from the taxpayers by the way of the federal government."
Boehner"s average rating for the 31 statements PolitiFact.com and PolitiFact Ohio have reviewed is between Half True and Mostly True. Thus far, none of his statements have been awarded PolitiFact"s lowest rating: Pants on Fire.