Fact check: GOP Senate candidates make some questionable claims
No separation of church and state? And are we advertising federal benefits in Mexico? WRAL News fact-checks the statements made during Wednesday night's GOP Senate debate.Posted — Updated
During the 30-minute debate, WRAL anchor David Crabtree pushed each of the candidates for specific answers. And in some of their specific replies, the candidates made some questionable claims. Here are quick fact checks:
"The point is the liberal agenda – the Obama agenda, the Kay Hagan agenda – trying to use it as a Trojan horse for their energy policy," Tillis said. "They're trying to use it as a tool to put fear in people." He went on to say Democrats were using "false science" to promote their policy agenda.
Grant said that the federal government should not play a role, and the state governments should respond to any effects of climate change. Harris echoed that position, saying the federal government needs to "stay away from this" issue.
"Climate changes every day," Brannon said. "Does a human being affect it? The answer is no."
Tillis' claim is that climate change is "false science" created to drive a political agenda. Brannon clearly says humans aren't driving climate change. The preponderance of scientific opinion disagrees.
"This whole fallacy of a separation between church and state is nowhere found in our founding documents," Brannon said. "It was a letter written by (Thomas) Jefferson back to the Danbury convention back in Connecticut saying that the federal government can never make a wall that they can go over. The individual is free to be how they want to be."
It's worth noting that the text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
"Who’s paying for them now?" Grant asked. "We’re paying for their health care. We’re paying for their HUD housing." She continued, "There’s SNAP, the advertising for SNAP in Mexico is a huge cost to us. Their HUD housing is a huge cost to us. Their Medicaid is a huge cost to us."
SNAP benefits are food benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eligibility is limited to "most legal immigrants" who have lived in the U.S. for five years, are under 18 or are disabled. "Certain non-citizens such as those admitted for humanitarian reasons and those admitted for permanent residence may also eligible for the program."
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