Politics & Government

The Bee’s fact-check of the Bera-Ose debate

Amid a flurry of arguments at Wednesday night’s congressional debate, The Bee did the fact-checking and analyzed the claims:

Ose’s claim: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion

The truth: Though the law decreases spending on Medicare by more than $700 billion through 2022, it slows down its growth rather than cutting funding to the program.

Bera’s claim: He successfully pushed legislation to withhold member pay if they don’t pass a budget.

The truth: Bera supports making the “No Budget, No Pay” Act permanent. Still, he consistently leaves out the fact that the version signed into law applied only to a single budget year and would have ultimately paid members regardless of whether they approved a budget.

Ose’s claim: Bera failed to attend a small-business workshop the congressman’s office promoted.

The truth: Bera doesn’t dispute that he wasn’t there. It’s common for congressional district offices to hold meetings on a range of issues without the presence of the officeholder.

Bera’s claim: Ose voted to “privatize” Social Security.

The truth: Bera and national Democrats point to a pair of oft-recycled votes Ose took to make their case that he voted for privatization. In 2001, Ose supported a Republican-championed budget resolution for the 2002 fiscal year that called for setting aside up to $600 billion in excess Social Security taxes that could conceivably have been dedicated to helping fund private accounts.

Ose also voted against a failed amendment by then-Democratic Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego that sought to bar federal funds from going to implement a final report by then-President George W. Bush’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, a bipartisan coalition charged with modernizing and restoring fiscal soundness to the system. But the plan specifically stated that the president’s principles prohibited investing Social Security funds in the stock market.

Ose’s claim: The University of California has changed its admission process to increase out-of-state and foreign student enrollment, resulting in a “disproportionate assignment of student slots.”

The truth: In 2010, the University of California Board of Regents suggested UC campuses admit more out-of-state and foreign students to offset the severe budget cuts of the recession. Nonresident students pay an additional $23,000 per year in fees, which the UC says it uses to support slots for California students that the state no longer pays for. While the proportion of nonresident students has increased, particularly at top campuses like Berkeley and Los Angeles, the number of California students systemwide has also increased slightly during the same time, though not at every school.

Bera’s claim: Ose says the science on the threat of global warming is “sketchy.”

The truth: Very few Republicans in the House and Senate accept the widespread scientific conclusion that global warming is man-made and real. Ose, if elected, would join their ranks.

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