Former Congressman Doug Ose is out with a new ad that is full of misleading claims but short on accomplishments because he doesn't want to talk about his failed record in Congress.
"Former Congressman Ose voted with his political party a shocking 94% of the time and turned a record surplus into a record deficit," said Bera spokesperson Allison Teixeira. "It's no surprise that Congressman Ose is desperate for Sacramento County voters to forget his partisan record of putting politics ahead of people and helping himself at the expense of middle class families."
CLAIM: 17 trillion of debt. Obamacare. A weak economy. Washington is broken and Ami Bera is part of the problem.
TRUTH: Ose Kept Voting to Raise the Debt Ceiling while Debt Grew by 35 Percent
Voted 3 Times to Raise the Debt Limit as the Debt Grew $2 Trillion (35.5%) While He Was In Office; National Debt Has Grown $2 Trillion Under Ose’s Watch. While Ose was in office, the national debt grew nearly $2 trillion from $5.6 trillion to $7.59 trillion, or about 35.5 percent. [Treasury Direct, accessed 11/13/2013]
Jobs, Wages, and the Economy are Improving at Every Level
FactCheck: 5.5 Million Jobs Created Since Obama Took Office. FactCheck.org released its overview of “Obama’s Numbers” in October 2014. It reported: “the total number of jobs in September  was nearly 5.5 million higher than when Obama was first sworn in. Four times more jobs have been added under Obama than were gained in George W. Bush’s eight years in office.” [FactCheck, 10/6/2014]
Report: Sacramento Economy “Picking Up Steam.” The Sacramento Business Journal reported in October 2014 that the mid-year issue of the Sacramento Business Review determined that the Sacramento economy is “definitely moving in the right direction and picking up steam along the way.” It added that “the education and health care industry represents over 13 percent of the local job market, and prolonged gains in those sectors have… added a visible benefit.” [Sacramento Business Journal, 10/7/2014]
Report: “California Economy is Accelerating.” In a September 2014 piece entitled “Economist report says California’s economy is accelerating,” the Sacramento Business Journal reported that “a quarterly report from Beacon Economics and City National Bank concluded California’s economic output grew in the second quarter at an estimated rate of 4 percent.” [Sacramento Business Journal, 9/16/2014]
National Unemployment Lowest Since Summer 2008. The New York Times reported in October 2014 that national unemployment levels “dipped below 6 percent in September for the first time since the summer of 2008,” indicating that “the economy finally appears to be on track for a more robust recovery, bolstered by strong recent job gains.” The Times added that the economy “added 248,000 jobs in September across almost all sectors,” and that “the private sector has now added 10.3 million jobs over 55 straight months of job growth.” [New York Times, 10/3/2014]
Sacramento County Experienced an Increase in both Jobs and Wages. The Sacramento Business Journal reported in July 2014 that Sacramento County had about 610,700 jobs in December 2013, an increase of 2.7 percent from December 2012. It also reported that “the average Sacramento worker made $1,069 per week in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of just over 1 percent from the same period the prior year.” [Sacramento Business Journal, 6/19/2014]
Ose Supports Repealing the Affordable Care Act, Raising the Deficit, and Making Californians Pay Hundreds of Millions More
Doug Ose Supports Repealing the ACA. In January 2014, Doug Ose spoke about his support for repealing Obamacare. Ose stated, “I’ve got a lifetime of experience there, that people there know me, and they’ve invested in what I’m talking about which is fix the economy, repeal Obamacare, and get this country back on the right path.” [UC Davis Republicans, 01/29/2014 at [10:20]]
In California repeal means:
[Energy and Commerce committee, May 2013]
Repeal Would Add to the Deficit. In May 2013, the Congressional Budget Office was asked to provide an estimate of the costs of repeal. Due to time and staff constraints, the CBO was unable to complete a new estimate, though it noted that its last analysis, in July 2012, found that repeal would result in a net increase in budget deficits of $109 billion between 2013–2022. According to the CBO, though it had not yet updated their most recent baseline projections, “we anticipate a similar result if we do so.” [Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 45 Link]
CLAIM: Voting with Nancy Pelosi nearly 90 percent of the time
TRUTH: Bera is One of the Most Moderate Members of Congress
Bera Ranked 171st among Democrats for Voting with Party. According to OpenCongress, Rep. Ami Bera has voted with the Democratic party on 87.3 percent of votes during the 113th Congress, ranking him 171st among Democrats for voting with their party or, between the two parties, the 39th member of the House who voted against their party. [OpenCongress, accessed 9/23/2014]
National Journal Rankings: Bera 177th most Liberal, 254th Most Conservative. According to the National Journal, Rep. Ami Bera was the 177th most liberal and 254th most conservative member of the House of Representatives in 2013. He received a 59.8 liberal and a 40.2 conservative composite score. The single most moderate member of the House, Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), ranked 205th liberal and 227th conservative, with scores of 49.5 and 50.5, respectively - putting Bera less than ten percentage points from Smith and indicating that he was one of the most moderate members of the House. [National Journal, accessed 9/23/2014]
AP: Bera Made a “Habit… of Bucking his own President and Voting with the Republican Majority.” According to the Associated Press in 2014, “Democratic Rep. Ami Bera has been making a habit lately of bucking his own president and voting with the Republican majority in the House as it moves to amend or overturn parts of the national health care law.” [Associated Press, 4/12/2014]
Leader in No Labels Problem Solvers. According to the Sacramento Bee, Bera served as a leader of the bipartisan group No Labels Problem Solvers. No Labels co-founder Mark McKinnon said of Bera:
“He is the most important member of our Problem Solvers – of the entire group. He stepped up immediately as a freshman to take a leadership position. He was out early advocating on our big issues like No Budget, No Pay. And he immediately supported our strategic agenda, getting right into the working group. He is our poster congressman for No Labels.”
[Sacramento Bee, 9/28/14]
CLAIM: For wasteful spending...
TRUTH: Ose is the Waste Expert
Ose’s Gibson Ranch Park Received $440,000 Stimulus Grant Highlighted as the 18th Most Wasteful Project in 2010. In 2010, Gibson Ranch received a $440,000 stimulus grant for energy improvements. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn listed the project as the 18th most wasteful in the country in his 2010 Wastebook. [Sacramento Bee, 1/07/2011; Tom Coburn 2010 Waste book, accessed 11/14/2013]
Criticized by Citizens Against Government Waste in Earmarks Push. In 1999, Citizens Against Government Waste criticized Ose for his frequent request of earmarks.
If [Ose] really feels it should be a priority for the federal government, he should go to the Housing and Urban Development Department and plead his case,“ said David Williams, research director of Citizens Against Government Waste. ”If there was a budget request for it and the House or Senate had funded it (in their versions of the appropriations bill), it wouldn’t be in our ‘Pig Book.’"
[Sacramento Bee, 11/22/99]
CLAIM: ...and higher taxes
TRUTH: Bera Fights for a Tax Code that’s Fair for the Middle Class
Bera Voted to Lower Taxes on Small Businesses. In June 2014, Bera voted for the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, which would make permanent a number of tax breaks for small businesses and keep them indexed to inflation for the future. [HR 4457, Vote #309, 6/12/2014; HR 4457, 6/17/2014; Forbes, 6/13/2014]
Bera Voted to Make the Alternative Minimum Tax Credit Permanent for Middle Class Families. In 2014, Bera voted with a minority of Democrats to make an increase to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) credit permanent. The AMT was passed to prevent wealthy taxpayers from abusing tax loopholes, but it was not indexed to inflation and has affected more and more members of them middle class over time. [HR 4718, Vote #404, 7/11/2014; HR 4718, 7/15/2014; CNN Money, accessed 10/8/2014]
Bera Opposed the 2014 Ryan Budget that Would Devastate Middle Class Families. In April 2014, Bera issued a press release from his official office stating his opposition to the budget proposal of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Bera argued that the budget was “completely partisan” and “would hurt middle class families, cost us jobs and break the promise of Medicare that we’ve made to our seniors, all to protect millionaires and billionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas.” [Office of Congressman Ami Bera, 4/1/2014]
In 2014, CBPP wrote that the impact of Ryan’s latest budget would be “at least as extreme as his budget last year, and likely more so.” [CBPP, 3/17/13; CBPP, 3/31/2014]
Supported Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts for People Making More Than $1 Million. In September 2012, the Sacramento Bee reported that Bera supported the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $1 million annually. [Sacramento Bee, 9/25/12]
Supports the Fair-Share “Buffett Rule.” In a February 2013 editorial published in the Sacramento Bee, Bera expressed support for the “Buffett Rule.” He wrote:
Democrats have suggested an alternative that includes the “Buffett rule,” which reduces the deficit without hurting middle-class families; ends taxpayer subsidies to big oil; and ends loopholes that corporations exploit. If we take this approach, we could protect the 750,000 jobs the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates we’ll lose if we allow sequestration to take place. So far, though, congressional leadership is not allowing us to even debate this balanced, sensible approach. The country should demand this debate.
[Sacramento Bee, 2/26/13]
Bera Introduced Bill to Delay Health Insurance Tax
Bera Introduced Bipartisan “Small Business and Family Relief Act” to Delay Health Insurance Tax. In October 2013, Bera announced that he and Republican Rep. Charles Boustany had introduced H.R. 3367, the Small Business and Family Relief Act, which would delay for two years a tax on health insurers slated to begin in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act. [Bera press release, 10/29/13; Business Insurance, 11/4/13; El Dorado Hills Telegraph, 11/7/13]
Folsom Telegraph: Health Insurance Tax Will Cost $11.3 Billion in Higher Premiums. According to the Folsom Telegraph, the Congressional Budget Office concluded “that the health insurance tax will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.” It noted that “the tax starts at $8.4 billion in 2014, and increases to $11.3 billion in 2015,” which means “in 2014 and 2015 alone it is expected to cost the typical family an additional $660.” It further observed that the tax “disproportionately impacts individuals who purchase their own health insurance, small businesses and seniors with Medicare Advantage.” [Folsom Telegraph, 10/29/2013]
CLAIM: Ose, "I'll be an independent voice for Sacramento County, working across party lines..."
TRUTH: Hyper-Partisan Ose Voted with Bush GOP 94 Percent of Votes in 2004
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 94 Percent of Votes in 2003–2004. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 94 percent of votes during the 108th Congress, from 2003–2004. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 94 Percent of Votes in 2001–2002. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 94 percent of votes during the 107th Congress, from 1999–2000. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]
WaPo: Ose Voted with Party on 91 Percent of Votes in 1999–2000. The Washington Post reported that Doug Ose voted with the Republican Party on 91 percent of votes during the 106th Congress, from 1999–2000. [Washington Post, accessed 9/23/2014]
CLAIM: Ose,"...to balance the budget and strengthen our economy."
TRUTH: Ose’s Tax Cuts and Wars Caused $6 Trillion in Deficits and Unbalanced the Budget
In Both 2001 and 2003 Rep. Doug Ose Voted for President George W. Bush’s Tax Cuts. [HR 2, House Vote #225, 5/23/2003; House Vote #149, 5/26/2001; House Vote #118, 5/16/2001]
Ose Voted to Start the Iraq War. In 2002, Ose voted for the passage of the joint resolution that authorized President Bush to use the U.S. military in Iraq. The vote passed the House, 296–113. [H J Res 114, Vote #455, 10/10/2002; H J Res 114 Summary, 10/16/2002]
Bush Tax Cuts, Wars Account for Nearly $6 Trillion in Deficits from 2009 to 2019. In 2013, CBPP reported that, “Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration - tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for nearly $6 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019 (including associated debt-service costs of $1.4 trillion). By 2019, we estimate that these two policies will account for almost half — over $8 trillion — of the $17 trillion in debt that will be owed under current policies. These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues, which will account for less than $2 trillion (just over 10 percent) of the debt at that time. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies do not fade away as the economy recovers.” [CBPP, 1/3/2013]
“Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance in this decade.” [CBPP, 2/28/2013]
Opposed Offsetting Costs of 2005 Bush Tax Cuts. Doug Ose opposed subjecting tax cuts to the “pay-as-you-go” rules that mandatory spending increases were subject to under the FY 2005 Republican budget. A small number of moderate Republicans expressed opposition to the budget because of the fact that tax cuts were not subject to pay-as-you-go. Doug Ose did not mind their exclusion, saying he was “sick of paying taxes.” [The Washington Times, 3/19/2004]
…And Twisted House Rules to Ensure Passage. Doug Ose was one of a handful of Republicans who switched their vote on the floor, after the allotted time for the vote had expired, when GOP leadership realized the Blue Dog Bill would pass, which included pay-as-you-go for tax cuts. Doug Ose, citing his being overtaxed, changed his vote during a 25 minute period in which the vote was kept open. This move deviated from existing House Rules. [National Journal Congress Daily, 3/30/2004]