As the special election in Pinellas' Congressional District 13 hurtles to a finish this week, the Buzz is handicapping the most vulnerable U.S. House seats in the Florida delegation.
Florida's delegation includes 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats, plus two vacant seats, both previously held by Republicans.
The following list ranks incumbent members by how vulnerable their party is to losing the seat. The seats are listed in descending order....
"When I talk about (raising the) minimum wage … half of Republicans agree with it."
President Barack Obama, Wednesday in a speech to the Democratic National Committee in Boston
Our first look at the data shows a minimum-wage hike is popular among Americans broadly.
But what about Republicans specifically? More than half of Republicans favor a minimum-wage increase, polls found, but in most of these polls, less than half of Republicans supported raising the wage to $10.10, the amount Obama is seeking....
As the special election in Pinellas' Congressional District 13 hurtles to a finish next week, it seems like a good time to update our Florida vulnerability rankings.
For the third straight cycle, the Buzz is handicapping the most vulnerable U.S. House seats in the Florida delegation. This is the first update we've done since July 2013. (We'll pick up the pace as Election Day 2014 approaches.) Quite a few of the seats have risen or fallen several notches over the past eight months....
Ever since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, critics have called it a job killer. Now, they're saying a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office proves their point.
Shortly after the report was released on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tweeted, "Pres. Obama's #hcr law expected to destroy 2.3 million jobs." (Wonk alert: #hcr is shorthand for "health care reform.")...
Income inequality is an issue PolitiFact has analyzed frequently since we started fact-checking political claims in 2007. So in the run-up to the State of the Union address, we thought it was a good time to review some of these claims, from both sides.
In general, we found just a few False statements and none that merited a Pants on Fire rating, perhaps because these claims are often linked to publicly available government data....
"If you have a job in this country, (there's a) 97 percent chance that you're not going to be in poverty."
U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, Jan. 12 on Fox News Sunday
Five decades after President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty, Fox News Sunday invited Rep. Southerland, among others, to discuss the anniversary....
01/03/14 State Roundup
We've heard people give lots of reasons for opposing Obamacare. But until a reader sent us some Internet links recently, we hadn't realized that one of the fears being spawned by Obamacare was that it could usher in legal beheadings across America.
The reader pointed us to a variety of blog posts, such as one headlined, "Obamacare Medical Codes Confirm: Execution by Beheading to Be Implemented in America." As if this wasn't scary enough, this post was accompanied by a photograph of a masked executioner swinging a curved sword downward, just inches from the neck of the condemned....
"Medicare costs have slowed down dramatically. In fact, the first two months of this fiscal year, Medicare costs were down even in nominal terms relative to the previous year."
Peter Orszag, Dec. 15, 2013, in an interview on CNN's State of the Union
There's broad agreement that one of the biggest challenges for the nation's future fiscal health is rising federal spending on Medicare, the health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older. That's why a recent claim about Medicare costs caught our attention....
WASHINGTON — During President Barack Obama's news conference Friday, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked how he feels about his claim — that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" — being selected as PolitiFact's 2013 Lie of the Year.
But he didn't really answer the question.
"Since we've been looking back at the year," Calmes said, "I'd like to ask you what your reaction was to the nonpartisan truth-telling group PolitiFact when it said that the Lie of the Year was your statement that, 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.' " At that point, Calmes proceeded to add more to her question, asking whether Senate Democrats were getting "a little rambunctious," including a push by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to consider a sanctions bill on Iran in January, contrary to the White House's wishes....
School children can earn higher grades by studying Islam under a new "nationwide Muslim outreach program" announced by President Barack Obama.
Bloggers, Dec. 7, in viral posts on the Internet
Here's some of the text that usually accompanies the claim:
"At a press conference today, President Obama announced plans for the first ever federally funded Muslim outreach program. The program will be available nationwide for all elementary school students grade K-12 beginning February 1st, 2014. The program is designed to educate children about the fundamentals of the Muslim religion and Islamic belief....
The minimum wage "in real terms right now is below where it was when Harry Truman was in office."
President Barack Obama, Wednesday in a speech at the Center for American Progress
The minimum wage, as written into law, has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. Here's a table that covers the years of Truman's tenure in office. We calculated the inflation-adjusted wage using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator....
"On (the federal minimum wage of) $7.75, you can't even make half the poverty level."
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Nov. 12 on MSNBC's Politics Nation
A recent Gallup poll showed that an overwhelming 76 percent of Americans want the minimum wage increased to $9. There hasn't been a minimum wage increase in four years, and the prospect of an increase — particularly in the Republican-controlled House — looks dim....
Within hours of the United States announcing an initial nuclear deal with Iran on Saturday, a few critics of President Barack Obama began to muse publicly about whether the announcement was timed to distract the American public from the troubled launch of Obamacare.
"Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care," tweeted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, at 10:15 p.m. the same night as the deal was announced....
PolitiFact: Rep. Dennis Ross says U.S. spending has fallen two straight years for first time since Korean War10/11/13Markets
"For the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row."
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, is one of a small group of Republicans calling for an end to the government shutdown.
After all, Republicans have succeeded in reining in government spending, Ross wrote in an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times on Oct. 7....
For something that could have a profound effect on the nation's economy, the debt ceiling is a pretty arcane topic. But not much longer! Here are 10 questions and answers designed to shine some light on the subject.
1. So, what is this "debt ceiling"?
The debt ceiling constrains how much debt the federal government can carry at a given time in order to pay for its operations. The debt limit is not new. In the 19th century, Congress approved every individual sale of bonds to the public. But beginning in 1917, Congress started to distance itself from the nuts and bolts of issuing debt, letting the Treasury Department decide when and how to auction bonds, but retaining the right to set an overall debt limit. Whenever the amount of debt approached this limit, Congress would need to vote to raise it....