PolitiFact Ohio calls yet another Republican lie about Sherrod Brown "not accurate" and "simply ridiculous". On the Truth-O-Meter, ridiculous claims get a rating of Pants on Fire!
With Congress out for its Easter-Passover break, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown started making the rounds with constituent and factory visits in early April. One of those stops was at the Nucor steel plant in Marion, where the Democratic freshman discussed what he calls the unfair trade practices of China.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee meantime had a list of other subjects it thought Brown, who faces reelection in November, should discuss during his local visits. Making suggestions in a pointed news release, NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox said, "One of the things we expect that Brown will not be discussing is his 60th vote for Barack Obama's job-killing health care law, which slapped small businesses throughout Ohio with a $500 billion tax increase."
This single statement had several elements that made us say, "Huh?" Was Brown the 60th vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? That's a point of dispute, because the NRSC had already said that Montana Democrat Jon Tester had that honor (though Tester's staff debunked it with a videotape showing him as the 52nd "yes" vote, Politico reported). The NRSC or its affiliates have also accused Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri of casting that crucial vote. Taking heat for being the 60th senator to actually commit that he would vote "yes," thus assuring passage regardless of the order in which the actual roll call went, was Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
But Brown certainly voted for the health care bill, so let's not get hung up on which senator had the ultimate vote. More intriguing than that was the NRSC's claim that the bill "slapped small businesses throughout Ohio with a $500 billion tax increase."
That would be a heck of an increase, were it true.
But it is not. Every piece of information the NRSC sent us to back up its $500 billion claim pertained to a national figure, not a figure for a single state. And it applied to all taxes and fees associated with what both parties are now calling Obamacare, not just the portion that would be paid by small businesses.