This week, the story about the planned cuts to future government spending (“sequester”) has been the way Democrats and the administration have been overstating their effects (see Maxine Waters). And now, the Washington Post’s fact-checker has caught the president doing it as recently as his Friday afternoon press conference.
“Obama’s remarks continue the administration’s pattern of overstating the potential impact of the sequester, which we have explored this week,” the Post concluded. So what earned Obama that determination? Well, how about him claiming that the sequester would lead to pay cuts for Capitol Hill janitors.
“Starting tomorrow everybody here,” Obama said, “all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol — now that Congress has left, somebody’s going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage — they’re going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they’ve got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real.” [Emphasis added]
Turns out, it’s not.
According to the government guru in charge of the Capitol janitors, the Architect of the Capitol, “We do not anticipate furloughs for AOC employees as a result of Sequestration.”
And there’s even a fancy document:
The White House did respond to WaPo’s fact-checking by claiming the sequester does mean a reduction in overtime. But the outlet isn’t buying it:
A White House official notes that the memo does refer to “further reducing overtime.” Technically, that could mean some janitors might see less pay, but it’s unclear how many actually earn overtime. Under the reasonable person test, a possible reduction in overtime appears a bit different than “just got a pay cut.”
To be fair, it does appear the Capitil police will undergo actual cuts.
Read WaPo’s full analysis here.