Fact-checking claims about the GOP agenda

President Barack Obama arrives at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. The GOP-controlled House and Senate will likely put pressure on the White House to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline. (AP file)
President Barack Obama arrives at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. The GOP-controlled House and Senate will likely put pressure on the White House to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline. (AP file)

With the 2014 midterms in the rearview mirror, pundits are looking ahead to what a GOP-controlled Congress might do. We fact-checked two recent claims.

Repeal, replace Obamacare

Fox News host Sean Hannity hammered home one idea during his post-election analysis Nov. 5.

Talking to Republican Louisiana U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a runoff with incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, Hannity said, "Every single candidate like yourself running for office said you will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare."

Later, in an interview with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Hannity said, "Every candidate that won in the Senate promised to repeal and replace Obamacare," Hannity said.

And he made the same point with Cory Gardner, who defeated incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado. "Every Republican that won elections last night, including yourself, you said repeal/replace Obamacare."

All within the span of an hour.

In looking at the freshman GOP class of the U.S. Senate, Hannity has a point. His claim rates Mostly True.

You can take a look at each new senator’s position on Obamacare here, but basically all are in favor of repealing the health care law as it stands on the books. As far as replacing the law goes, most have ideas -- though some ideas are more nebulous than others.

Keystone XL

Many people expect the Republican Congress to try and push President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Fox and Friends host Anna Kooiman discussed the number of jobs the pipeline project would bring.

"And if you would just approve the Keystone XL pipeline, there would be tens of thousands of jobs created," Kooiman said Nov. 6, addressing Obama.

The job-creation argument behind the controversial pipeline is one fact-checkers have reviewed many times. The bottom line: Keystone isn’t the massive jobs generator that some make it out to be.

Kooiman’s claim rates Mostly False.

As far as new jobs go, the State Department estimates the operation of the pipeline will only create 35 permanent, full-time jobs and 15 temporary contractors. The full-time workers would be "required for annual operations, including routine inspections, maintenance and repair." Some would work in a Nebraska field office.

The lack of many full-time positions makes sense, given that the project is to build a pipeline so that tar sands can travel without the need of rail cars or ships.

There are, however, temporary jobs that would be supported by building the $8 billion pipeline over one or two years.

Over the course of up to two years of construction, the State Department estimates a total of 42,100 jobs "would be supported by construction of the proposed project." Some jobs are directly tied to the pipeline and construction. Other jobs are simply a nature of how spending $8 billion ripples out into the economy. And more than 99 percent are temporary.