WaPo Fact Checker Gives Obama 4 Pinocchios For Janitor Claim

In his remarks highlighting draconian budget cuts known as sequestration at the White House on Friday, President Barack Obama claimed that even janitors working on Capitol Hill would receive a pay cut. 

“Starting tomorrow everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol,” Obama said at a press conference. “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.”

Glenn Kessler, who fact checks for the Washington Post, obtained a memo from the Architect of the Capitol, who manages janitorial staff, debunking the claim.

“Indeed, Obama’s remarks at the news conference so alarmed Capitol Hill officials that an e-mail was sent by the Capitol building superintendent that comments that people who clean the building would get a cut in pay were ‘NOT true,'” Kessler writes.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also got into hot water for embellishing harmful effects of sequestration this week, when he claimed the cuts already cost teachers jobs.

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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