Democrats hoping to regain control of the U.S. House this November are trying to tie President Donald Trump and his policies around the necks of vulnerable congressional Republicans.
That’s particularly true in California’s 45th Congressional District in Orange County, where Republican Rep. Mimi Walters is attempting to hold onto a seat in a district that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.
House Majority PAC, a group aligned with Democrats, puts Trump and Walters side by side a new TV ad. With Trump and Walters brand beer bottles in the background, and someone singing "99 Bottles of Beer," the House Majority PAC ad claims Walters votes with the president "99 percent of the time."
The ad also says Walters "took big bucks from insurance interests" and that she voted for Trump’s plan to "strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and slap an age tax on older Californians." We addressed those claims in a separate fact-check.
Here, we focus in on whether Walters’ votes put her in lock-step with Trump in a district that supported Clinton two years ago.
House Majority PAC says Walters votes with Trump "99 percent of the time."
That figure tracks back to an analysis by the website FiveThirtyEight. FiveThirtyEight tracked 93 key congressional votes since Trump took office to see whether members of Congress support or oppose the president’s agenda. According to FiveThirtyEight, Walters voted on Trump’s side in all but two instances.
In one case, Walters missed a vote to rescind previously approved but as of yet unspent federal funding. Trump supported rescinding those federal dollars.
In a second case, in July 2017, Walters voted to approve additional sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea that Trump had opposed.
When you factor out the missed vote, according to FiveThirtyEight, Walters agreed with Trump in 91 of 92 instances, or 98.9 percent of the time. Five Congressional Republicans lined up a perfect 100 percent of the time with Trump, while Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., only voted in line with Trump 49 percent of the time.
We decided to check Congressional Quarterly as well, which also tracks how members of Congress voted when the president took a clear position. That includes statements of administration policy provided in advance of the vote, as well as his messages to Congress, news conference remarks and other public statements and documents.
According to CQ (subscription required), Walters supported the president in 100 percent of the time in 2017.
So, when it comes to votes, Walters has been almost always on the side of Trump.
One caveat: As we have said in the past, you can debate the value of these types of comparisons, as they may overlook instances where an elected official bucked the leader of his or her party. Walters did not respond to a request for comment.
The House Majority PAC says that Walters votes in line with Trump 99 percent of the time.
It is true that Walters has supported Trump’s agenda in almost every case. FiveThirtyEight looked at 93 votes and found Walters on the side of the president 99 percent of the time. CQ said Walters agreed with Trump 100 percent of the time in 2017 in the votes they studied.
The caveat in claims like these is that you can debate the usefulness of the statistic itself.
With that in mind, we rate this claim Mostly True.
House Majority PAC ad, Oct. 9, 2018
House Majority PAC, "About Us," Accessed Oct. 11, 2018
FiveThirtyEight, "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump," Accessed Oct. 11, 2018
Congressional Quarterly, "Mimi Walters CQ Voting Studies," Accessed Oct. 12, 2018
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.