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Fact-checking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

By Becky Bowers
Published on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 3:58 p.m.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce jumped into congressional races with a barrage of ads Feb. 8, 2012. They targeted Senate candidates with attack ads, and praised a House Republican for her record, focusing on the economy, jobs and taxes.

But they all had issues with the truth.

Four ads we looked at earned ratings from Half True to False.

The most truthful attack, on a Montana Democrat, took him to task for voting for the 2010 health care law, declaring, "Obamacare (hit) Americans with over $500 billion in new taxes." But that number included more than taxes and ignored substantial federal subsidies for taxpayers, prompting us to rate it Half True.

Two ads earned Mostly False ratings.

The business group said that a Wisconsin Democrat backed raising taxes by $858 billion — a misleading take on her vote against a bill extending Bush-era tax cuts. Meanwhile, in another ad it praised an Illinois Republican in a message warning the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said unemployment could top 9 percent in 2013. But that wasn’t the CBO forecast, which ranges from 7.4 to 8.9 percent.

A fourth ad was flatly False.

It saddled a Virginia Senate candidate with support for President Barack Obama’s health care law, saying it "will kill jobs across America." The Chamber of Commerce has failed to prove that it will, and the best projections PolitiFact has, which are based on how the law is actually written, do not suggest that the law will "kill" jobs.

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Researchers: Becky Bowers

Names in this article: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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