US

Fact Checking Biden’s First News Conference

[ad_1]

President Biden spoke to reporters on Thursday in his first formal news conference. Here’s a fact check of his remarks.

What was said

“We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.”

This is false. Federal officials recorded about 19,000 encounters with families at the southwestern border in February. Of those, about 7,900 families, or 42 percent, were expelled, far short of a majority. According to Axios, that rate was 13 percent last week.

Mr. Biden correctly noted later in the news conference that most encounters over all led to expulsions because of the high proportion of single adults: Out of more than 100,000 encounters at the southwestern border in February, more than 70,000 led to expulsions. But that is not true for families specifically.

What was said

“I started to deal with it back when I was a United States senator — I mean, vice president, putting together a bipartisan plan of over $700 million to do the root causes of why people are leaving. What did Trump do? He eliminated that funding. He didn’t use it.”

This is false. President Donald J. Trump did not completely eliminate the aid that Mr. Biden cited.

The federal government increased foreign assistance to Central America to $750 million in 2016 from $338.1 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

While Mr. Trump requested steep cuts to foreign aid in his annual budgets, he did not seek to eliminate that funding entirely. Congress ultimately agreed to reduce aid to Central America to $505.9 million in the 2021 fiscal year. The Trump administration also temporarily suspended that aid in April 2019, when the number of migrants at the border increased, but restored the funding in October 2019.

What was said

“He, in fact, shut down the number of beds available.”

This is exaggerated. As The New York Times has previously reported, Mr. Trump did not “shut down” bed capacity to house migrant children.

When the Obama administration faced an influx of migrant children, the refugee agency increased its monthly bed capacity to about 8,000 beds in the 2015 fiscal year from about 2,000 in the 2011 fiscal year, according to a Government Accountability Office report in 2016. Under the Trump administration, monthly bed capacity fell to less than 7,000 in October 2017 but grew to over 16,000 by December 2018. By Mr. Trump’s last full month in office, in December 2020, monthly bed capacity was more than 13,000.

During the pandemic, some shelters reduced occupancy to comply with coronavirus protocols before returning to full capacity this month as the number of children increased.

What was said

“Between 1917 and 1971 the filibuster existed, there were a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster. That whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many.”

True. The filibuster is an old procedural tactic to delay action on a bill. Mr. Biden highlighted 1917 because that year, the Senate adopted a rule allowing a two-thirds majority to “invoke cloture,” or end debate and vote on a measure. In 1975, the Senate reduced that threshold from two-thirds to three-fifths of the body.

Experts have considered motions to invoke cloture a “useful proxy” to measure how often filibusters occur.

According to the Senate website, there were 58 motions for cloture between 1917 and 1970, but debate was ended only eight times. In the 116th Congress — from 2019 to 2020, when Democrats were the minority party — there were 328 motions, and 270 resulted in cloture being invoked. Mr. Biden did not mention that of those motions to end debate, all but one was filed by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who was the majority leader at the time.

What was said

“Did you hear them complain, when they passed close to $2 trillion Trump tax cut, of 83 percent going to the top 1 percent?”

This is exaggerated. Mr. Biden repeated a talking point that has been popular for years among Democratic politicians. It comes from a 2017 study from the Tax Policy Center on the tax cut law that year. According to the study, by 2027, about 82.8 percent of the benefits of the tax cut will accrue to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. But in two other years examined in the study, 2018 and 2025, the researchers estimated that the top 1 percent’s share of the tax cuts would be about 20 percent to 25 percent.

[ad_2]
Source link

About the author

admin

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment