The Obama Administration’s Sequester Claims vs. Independent Fact Checkers

Obama Team Claims

Fact Checkers Say

“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.”


Barack Obama,  March 1, 2013



“This error is particularly bad–and nerve-wracking to the janitors and security guards who were misled by the president’s comments.” (Sequester spin: Obama’s false claim of Capitol janitors receiving ‘a pay cut’, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 3/1/13)





“On the issue of the janitors, if you work for an hourly wage and you earn overtime, and you depend on that overtime to make ends meet.”



Jay Carney, March 4, 2013





“It would be better to focus on those people rather than imaginary victims.” (Capitol janitors making ‘ends meet’ with overtime? Nope, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 3/6/13)




“Meals on Wheels would be able to serve 4 million fewer meals to seniors.”



White House Fact Sheet, February 8, 2013





“Given that federal funding is just one-third of the funding source, and the 4 million figure represents a relatively small part of the program, it is hard at this point to justify such specificity.” (Sequester spin: The threat to free meals for seniors, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 3/1/13)







“There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.”


Arnie Duncan, February 24, 2013





“Duncan made this claim not once, not twice, but three times. Let this be a teachable moment for him: Next time, before going on television, check your facts.” (4 Pinocchios for Arne Duncan’s false claim of ‘pink slips’ for teachers, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 2/27/13)





“Up to 70,000 children would lose access to Head Start and early Head Start services.”


Kathleen Sebelius, February 1, 2013





“These claims lack context that would help listeners understand what these numbers really mean.” (Spin and counterspin in the sequester debate, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, 2/26/13)





If the sequester hits, federal prosecutors will have to “let criminals go.”


Barack Obama, February 19, 2013





“These represent significant exaggerations, so we rate the claim Mostly False.” (Barack Obama says sequester could force prosecutors to ‘let criminals go’, Louis Jacobson, Politifact, 2/19/13)