Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Your guide to the economic stimulus bill

Democratic Sens. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin were hopeful about the stimulus bill.
Democratic Sens. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin were hopeful about the stimulus bill.

As the Senate nears a final vote on the economic stimulus bill, we thought it would be helpful to pull together all of our Truth-O-Meter items on what's in the bill and what's not.

You'll find our rulings summarized in the box on the right. If you've been reading the site over the past two weeks, you know that we found lots of hyperbole in the debate. 

We examined Sen. Mitch McConnell's claim about spending $1 million a day since Christ was born and found that not only was McConnell was right, but his underlying point — that the stimulus bill was bigger than $1 million day since Christ — was also correct.

We found plenty of exaggerations and a few falsehoods. We checked several claims by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor and found he was wrong on each one .

John Boehner tried to make a case that a favorite Republican villain, ACORN, stood to get "billions" from the bill, but we found that was a tremendous stretch. But his fellow Republican John Mica was on the mark with his claim about money for roads and bridges , while Sen. Jon Kyl was about half-right on the Filipino claim .

On the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said that tax cuts for the wealthy "have been the biggest contributor to the budget deficit." And we found White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was wrong that there were no earmarks in the bill . We see at least a handful. And while many people think there's a need for a stimulus bill, President Obama was wrong when he said no one disagrees .

We'll keep an eye on the final debate about the stimulus bill, but we'll also be redeploying the Truth-O-Meter to other issues in Washington such as food safety and President Obama's nominees. We think the meter will be busy.