Jeb Hensarling, ‘prayerful,’ has been fact-checked

Texas U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, possible majority leader aspirant, has been Truth-O-Metered (Associated Press photo).
Texas U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, possible majority leader aspirant, has been Truth-O-Metered (Associated Press photo).

According to the National Journal, Texan Jeb Hensarling -- a possible aspirant for House majority leader now that Eric Cantor has lost re-election -- is "prayerfully" considering his options. Fellow Dallas Republican Pete Sessions also might be in play, Slate speculates.

Both have previously been fact-checked.

Most recently, in December, we rated as Half True a claim by Sessions that federal law for Obamacare navigators "does not bar — or even require screening for — convicted felons, including individuals convicted of identity theft or fraud."

That’s right, though it leaves out significant information. For instance, the federal government has an Excluded Parties list that prevents grants from going to agencies not in good standing. Also, states are permitted to impose background checks. A Texas agency was weighing such a mandate when Sessions made this claim while nationally, other states had done so or were considering as much. Finally, the biggest Texas contractor for navigators had already reported conducting a background check of each navigator it hired.

See Sessions’ full Truth-O-Meter report card here.

Earlier, PolitiFact in Washington, D.C. rated as Pants on Fire Hensarling’s claim that in a "sweetheart deal … members of Congress, thanks to the Obama administration, are going to be the only people in America to get subsidies in the Obamacare exchanges."

That October 2013 article called Hensarling’s statement wrong in almost every regard. Millions of ordinary Americans lacking health coverage were then expected to get Obamacare subsidies in the years ahead. Congressional employees purchasing insurance on the marketplaces wouldn’t be getting subsidies so much as benefiting from a traditional employer cost-share, as many Americans do. Far from getting a "sweetheart deal," congressional employees would otherwise find themselves forced off their existing insurance, something the law itself did to no other employment group. Also, the issue had largely been driven by Republicans, not by the Obama administration.

PolitiFact Texas last reviewed a Hensarling statement in August 2013, rating as Half True his statement that "the acting chief of the IRS said he – and the majority of IRS employees – would rather stay with his current" health "plan than switch to Obamacare."

The acting chief did say he and other IRS workers would prefer no change in their insurance coverage. But the context for that statement wasn’t as Hensarling suggested. IRS and other federal workers were not objecting to the law known as Obamacare but to proposed legislation designed to take away their existing employer-provided insurance and make them buy coverage through exchanges created by Obamacare. The congressman’s claim left the misimpression that IRS workers were scrambling to get out from under a law that actually applies to the nation’s uninsured.

See Hensarling’s full Truth-O-Meter report card--which gets into claims about energy, foreign debt and deficits--here.

What else?