FACT CHECK: Karl Rove Ignores Donnelly’s Independent Record

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Indianapolis, Ind.--Today, Joe Donnelly’s campaign for U.S Senate responded to the latest attack ad from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

“Karl Rove and his billionaire backers are trying to help Richard Mourdock hide his true TEA Party colors,” said Paul Tencher, campaign manager. “He can ignore Joe’s votes for a Balanced Budget Amendment, against Cap and Trade, and for the Keystone pipeline all he wants, but the people of Indiana know better.  They are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s angry partisanship and responding to Joe’s willingness to work with anyone and everyone to get things done.  We disagree with Mr. Mourdock: the last thing we need in Washington is more ‘zealots.’”

Claim

Truth

V/O: On votes that count Joe Donnelly sides with Barack Obama... Donnelly is independent of President Obama, routinely voting against Obama-Democratic budgets because of overspending. He supports a line item veto, opposes increases in the gas tax, and wants to take tax breaks away from companies that ship jobs overseas. [Kokomo Tribune, 3/13/10; Fort Wayne News Sentinel, 6/2/12]

Joe Donnelly opposed the President more than 30% of the time and broke with his party more than all but six Democrats. [CQ Custom Member Profile, 2/2012; National Journal Vote Rankings 2011]

In 2009, Donnelly voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, commonly known as Cap and Trade. The Associated Press reported that although 211 Democrats and 8 Republicans backed the legislation, Donnelly believed it could jeopardize jobs. “The legislation has too many uncertainties in terms of the effect it would have on manufacturers and other businesses and the Hoosiers they employ,” Donnelly said. “In particular, I am very concerned that the bill would put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to other emerging economic powers like China and India.” [Associated Press, 6/27/09]

In July 2011, Donnelly voted in favor of passage of a bill which would speed up the decision by the Obama administration on the Keystone Oil Pipeline. According to the Associated Press, “lawmakers endorsed a Nov. 1 deadline for the State Department to decide whether to approve the $7 billion project. A Canadian company wants to build a 1,900-mile pipeline to carry crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas.” [Associated Press, 7/26/11] The bill passed, 279-147. [HR 1938, Vote #650, 7/26/11]

In 2010, Donnelly voted against the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal residency for hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants first brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Donnelly also criticized the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the state of Arizona over the state’s immigration law. “The federal government should have stayed out of it. Arizona is trying to deal with a large amount of challenges that they have because of their location. We’d be a lot better off at the federal level by providing additional border agents and providing additional assistance than filing suit.” [HR 5281, Vote #625, 12/08/10; South Bend Tribune, 9/28/10]
...including Obamacare... Joe Donnelly has a long record of fighting to improve the health care bill, voting to repeal the 1099 requirement and co-sponsoring the repeal of the health care bill’s tax on medical device manufacturers. The Protect Medical Innovation Act passed the House 270-146, in June 2012, with 233 Republicans and 37 Democrats supporting the repeal. [thomas.loc.gov, accessed 7/18/12]
...Obamacare cut $11 billion from Medicare spending in Indiana alone... Health care reform does not cut Medicare.  This claim has repeatedly been found to be false. The Washington Post called it “misleading,” and found that the health care bill “actually puts Medicare on a more solid financial footing.” Other independent fact checkers agree and stressed that “time and again” they've pointed out exactly how misleading this claim is.  [Washington Post, 6/14/11; FactCheck.org, 9/17/10, 8/20/10, 3/19/10, 6/13/12]

Mourdock’s own budget assumes all but "$10 billion of the nearly $500 [now $716B] billion in Medicare savings." "It’s rather rich for Republicans to complain about $500 billion in supposed cuts to Medicare that they themselves would retain."  Mourdock’s plan would also raise health care costs for seniors by over $6,000.  [Washington Post, 6/14/11; CBPP,4/15/11; Senate Vote 77, 5/25/11; House Vote 277, 4/15/11]

Seniors will have more money in their pockets because Medicare Advantage premiums will fall in 2012. The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that "On average, Medicare Advantage premiums will go down next year and seniors will enjoy more free benefits."  [HHS, 9/15/11]

Economists characterized calls to repeal the savings “puzzling and bogus” and said it would raise out-of-pocket costs for seniors. Reported the New York Times, “While Republicans have raised legitimate questions about the long-term feasibility of the reimbursement cuts, analysts say, to restore them in the short term would immediately add hundreds of dollars a year to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for beneficiaries....For those reasons, Henry J. Aaron, an economist and a longtime health policy analyst at the Brookings Institution and the Institute of Medicine, called Mr. Romney’s vow to repeal the savings “both puzzling and bogus at the same time.”  Marilyn Moon, vice president and director of the health program at the American Institutes for Research, calculated that restoring the $716 billion in Medicare savings would increase premiums and co-payments for beneficiaries by $342 a year on average over the next decade; in 2022, the average increase would be $577.” [New York Times, 8/21/12]

Mourdock Challenged The Constitutionality Of Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid. Reported the Evansville Courier & Press, “‘I challenge you in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution where those so-called enumerated powers are listed. I challenge you to find words that talk about Medicare or Medicaid or, yes, even Social Security,’ he [Mourdock] said then.  He does not specifically refer to the programs as unconstitutional, and does not call for their repeal. He does, though, say: ‘Nowhere is the word entitlement present in the enumerated powers.’”  The newspaper continues, “‘It [A MaorityPAC Ad] also says Mourdock claimed "a plan that essentially ends Medicare’ — a reference to the proposal by Republican Mitt Romney's running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, to instead hand seniors a voucher to purchase private insurance — does not go far enough.  He has praised Ryan's plan, but said in a meeting with Purdue University's College Republicans chapter that he doesn't think it ‘goes far enough, fast enough to start to roll back the scope of government.’” [Evansville Courier & Press, 8/23/12]
...two years later, health insurance premiums are up nearly $2,000 per family...

The rate of increase of health care costs is at historic lows. Reported CNN, “The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums jumped again this year, but the rate at which they rose slowed to historic lows, according to a new survey Tuesday.
For insured workers, the cost of buying health insurance for a family of four increased 4% to $15,745 in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. Last year, premiums leaped 9% from the year before.” [CNNMoney, 9/11/12]
...and Obamacare is a huge tax increase on the middle class. The ACA provides American families and small businesses with $828 billion in tax credits. This breaks down to $806 billion in tax credits for American families to help them afford health care.  This also includes $22 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help them provide health care for their employees. [Senate Finance, 7/29/12; CBO, 3/2012]

Health care reform reduces our deficit. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the ACA will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion in Medicare savings and tax revenue sources by 2021. [Congressional Budget Office, 3/30/11]
Joe Donnelly's bad judgement is hurting Indiana families.  Why would he vote different if we gave him a promotion? Joe Donnelly supports major change to the health care reform bill, while
still making sure health insurance companies cannot deny coverage and prescription drug companies can't price gouge consumers. Donnelly is independent of President Obama, routinely voting against Obama-Democratic budgets because of overspending. He supports a line item veto, opposes increases in the gas tax, and wants to take tax breaks away from companies that ship jobs overseas. [Kokomo Tribune, 3/13/10; Fort Wayne News Sentinel, 6/2/12]


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