President Donald Trump provided his 2nd State of the Union address to Congress and the nation after a record-setting, 35- day partial government shutdown.
This was his very first time dealing with the divided Congress, which now features a Democratic-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate. Stacey Abrams made history Tuesday night by delivering the Democratic action to the State of the Union. She was the very first African-American female to give the official action to the president’s address.
Our team of reporters from ABC News investigated some of Trump’s declarations and one of Abrams’, searching for extra context, information and info.
Here is ABC News’ truth check of the address:
Fact check No. 1— The U.S. is the top producer of oil and gas
President Donald Trump:“We have let loose a revolution in American Energy– the United States is now the top manufacturer of oil and gas on the planet. And now, for the very first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.”
Score:DOING NOT HAVE CONTEXT
Context:The United States is the world’s greatest manufacturer of petroleum, producing close to 12 million barrels of unrefined oil per day (119 to be exact), according to the Energy Info Administration. Russia produced approximately 11.2 million barrels daily in December according to their Ministry of Energy, while Saudi Arabia produces 10.5 million barrels per day.
Patrick DeHaan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy points out that the procedure of sending out in rigs and drilling test wells is a process that is measured in years. For numerous years now, new drilling methods consisting of shale production have been enhancing production. A move under President Barack Obama also offered an increase to production when in late 2015 Congress raised the restriction on exporting petroleum. That incentivized more production in the United States for sale overseas.
The EIA jobs that, for the very first time considering that the 1950 s, the United States will export more energy than it imports by 2020, as increases in petroleum, natural gas, and gas plant liquids production exceed growth in U.S. energy intake.
— Zunaira Zaki
Reality check No. 2— Tax cuts
Trump:“We passed a massive tax cut for working households and doubled the child tax credit.”
Context:The GOP tax plan lowers taxes usually for all earnings groups at first, consisting of middle-class Americans.
The typical household will see a tax cut of $1,610 in 2019 according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. In general, many Americans– eight in 10, according to the center– will pay lower taxes this year.
But multiple independent analyses concluded that wealthier Americans and corporations will get the biggest benefit over the long term.
“In general, higher-income families get larger average tax cuts as a percentage of after-tax earnings,” the center found. “Typically, in 2027 taxes would alter little for lower- and middle-income groups and reduce for higher-income groups.” The majority of the specific income tax arrangements will end after 2025, unless Congress acts. The business tax rate cuts are long-term.
— Katherine Faulders
Truth check No. 3— Prescription drug rates
Trump:“Americans pay greatly more than individuals in other countries for the exact same drugs, frequently made in the precise very same place.”
Context:Last fall, the government launched a study that discovered Medicare– the federally run healthcare program for seniors– paid more than other developed countries for physician-administered drugs. While the precise quantity differed by item, the research study discovered that costs charged by those manufacturers are 1.8 times greater in the U.S. than in other countries.
Trump has actually proposed that Medicare just consent to pay expenses based upon more affordable costs paid by other nations. It is among numerous propositions he’s made in recent months in a bid to drive down costs, although that proposal would not happen for another year or two.
The drug market had actually criticized the technique, competing that the money paid goes toward ground breaking research that benefits Americans first. According to one industry group, Americans have access to cancer medications typically 2 years previously than in nations like the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Industry executives also state it’s unfair to compare what the U.S. pays for drugs compared to individuals in countries with mingled healthcare systems.
— Anne Flaherty
Reality check No. 4— Americans are murdered by “unlawful aliens”
Trump:“Every year, numerous Americans are murdered by criminal unlawful aliens.”
Ranking:DOING NOT HAVE CONTEXT
Context:According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data, over the previous 2 years, there were nearly 4,000 arrests produced people both founded guilty of– and simply charged with– murder among immigrants released into ICE custody for deportation– however the murders could’ve been dedicated over any number of years.
More generally, the president’s speech referenced 266,000 arrests of undocumented immigrants with criminal records over the previous two years, a number that generally includes immigrants who were convicted of criminal offenses in the past, and perhaps served prison time prior to they were released into ICE custody.
— Cheyenne Haslett
Truth check No. 5— Drug cost decrease
Trump:“As an outcome of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single biggest decline in 46 years.”
Context:According to the Consumer Cost Index, that dip is.62 percent, taking a look at data gathered on Dec. 2017 to data from Dec.2018 Last fall, an Associated Press analysis analyzed the sticker price for some 26,000 brand-name drugs and discovered 96 rate walkings for every one price cut.
What Trump can point to in favor of consumers is an aggressive push by the U.S. Fda during his administration to authorize generic drugs. White House consultants in an Oct. 2018 report approximated that the current approval of generic drugs has resulted in $26 billion in cost savings for consumers that would have otherwise had to pick trademark name drugs. Among those approved under Trump was the first generic variation of EpiPen, the lifesaving auto injector used to treat emergency situation reactions. EpiPen injectors went from costing $100 in 2009 to $600 in2016
And while out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs remained mostly flat in 2017– Trump’s first year in office– out-of-pocket physician and health center expenses increased.
A number of Trump’s concepts to drive down drug costs haven’t worked yet and are still winding their way through the rulemaking procedure. One proposition would overthrow the usual system of drug rebates when individuals buy prescription drugs through Medicare or Medicaid. The plan would forbid drug makers from using discounts or refunds to “pharmacy benefit supervisors” that administer drug plans. Instead, the manufacturers would be encouraged to offer rebates straight to consumers. Democrats pushed back, insisting they believe the strategy will raise expenses for customers.
Another proposition, revealed last fall, is to limit what it spends for certain drugs for Medicare receivers by connecting the cost for some drugs to costs paid overseas. The step, which would be phased in over numerous years, would only apply to particular types of drugs by means of Medicare that are administered by a physician. The drug industry resisted and said the administration was preventing innovation.
— Anne Flaherty
Truth check No. 6— Restricting legal immigration
Trump:“I desire individuals to come into our nation in the biggest numbers ever, but they need to come in lawfully.”
Context:Last fall Trump set the most affordable cap in the history of the refugee admission program– permitting simply 30,000 a year. In previous President Barack Obama’s in 2015 in workplace he proposed a cap of 110,000 amid the height of the crisis in Syria. In 2017, the Trump administration enabled the 2nd least refugees ever.
Trump likewise won a fight in the Supreme Court to restrict all kinds of travel and immigration from seven countries, five of which have Muslim bulk populations. Just recently, the administration began selectively enforcing a new policy at the southern border that requires migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed. He has actually likewise required the elimination of the variety visa program, which normally awards approximately 50,000 immigration visas each year.
— Justin Fishel and Avery Miller
Truth check No. 7— Brand-new jobs and production
Trump:“We have actually created 5.3 million brand-new jobs and significantly included 600,000 brand-new production jobs.”
Rating:DOING NOT HAVE CONTEXT
Context:Nearly 4.9 million tasks have actually been produced given that Feb. 2017, including 454,000 production tasks. The joblessness rate at 4 percent is at levels last seen in late 1999 and2000 The uptick in the joblessness rate in the most current jobs report was likely because of the government shutdown. The joblessness rate in Nov. 2018 was 3.7 percent which was a level last seen in 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Stats.
African American unemployment is at historic lows at 6.8 percent– but it has ticked up in recent months after hitting an all-time low of 6 percent toward completion of last year. Similarly, the Hispanic joblessness rate at 4.9 percent has ticked up from current lows of 4.4 percent toward the end of in 2015.
— Zunaira Zaki
Truth check No. 8— North Korea
Trump:“Our hostages have actually gotten back, nuclear testing has actually stopped, and there has actually not been a rocket launch in 15 months. If I had not been chosen president of the United States, we would right now, in my viewpoint, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work stays to be done, however my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a great one.”
Rating:DOING NOT HAVE CONTEXT
Context:It is arguable whether Trump’s election has assisted avoid a U.S.-North Korea war. No other president has actually aggressively pursued diplomacy with North Korea’s leader, however, considering that completion of the Korean War, no other president has so openly threatened the program.
The president is best that North Korea returned three hostages in Might 2018 and swiftly expelled an American who illegally crossed the border into the nation in November. The regime has actually likewise not conducted a nuclear test because Sept. 2017 and has not test-fired a ballistic missile since Nov. 2017, minimizing the risk to U.S. troops and allies in the region.
However North Korea did perform a weapons test in Nov. 2018, according to the country’s state media, although it did not include firing a rocket. The program has likewise said its nuclear ability is total and no longer requires testing. And satellite images have shown that North Korea has upgraded or broadened some ballistic rocket centers.
A lot more importantly, the country has not taken any concrete actions to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, something several other Trump administration authorities have admitted, including Vice President Mike Pence and Unique Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun. While the North Koreans say they have dismantled nuclear and missile engine test sites, they have not enabled outside inspectors in to validate those claims.
The U.S. intelligence community continues to examine that the routine still sees nuclear weapons as vital for their survival and does not plan to remove them, with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats saying recently, “North Korea will seek to retain its WMD abilities and is unlikely to totally offer up its nuclear weapons and production capability because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.”
While he praised his relationship with Kim Tuesday night, Trump was more ambivalent in a tweet last week, writing, “Good possibility of Denuclearization … Time will inform what will happen with North Korea.” Administration officials state in any case, what Trump has actually accomplished is historic because North Korea’s leader himself has actually accepted “denuclearization.”
But what that term means, how it is achieved and when stay a secret that the U.S. intends to start fixing at the 2nd Trump-Kim summit, which Trump revealed will be Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam.
— Conor Finnegan
Truth check No. 9— Expense of war
Trump:“Our brave soldiers have actually now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, almost 7,000 American heroes have actually offered their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have actually been terribly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Middle East. As a prospect for president, I pledged a new method. Fantastic countries do not combat limitless wars.”
Context:A Brown University study launched in Nov. 2018 estimated the U.S. has so far spent $5.9 trillion on wars and military action in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria considering that 9/11, consisting of war-related spending by the State Department, previous and obligated costs for veterans’ care, interests on the debt sustained to pay for the wars and costs by the Department of Homeland Security to avoid and react to terrorism.
Another research study, published in 2016, computed that the U.S. had already invested or obliged $4.6 trillion on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria, on Homeland Security, and for veterans’ care through2053 That research study, by Brown University, determined an additional $3 trillion in interest to reach $7.9 trillion, but that money has actually not yet been invested, as Trump declared.
The most current Congressional Budget Workplace study approximated in 2014 that the expense of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $1.6 trillion from 2001 to2014 But a number of studies state the largest parts of the U.S. costs have yet to be paid, including for veterans care, changing military hardware and interest on the financial obligations incurred.
— Conor Finnegan
Truth check No. 10— Drug deaths
Trump:“10s of thousands of innocent Americans are eliminated by deadly drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities– including meth, heroin, drug and fentanyl.”
Context:Law enforcement authorities state this number is anticipated to increase. As a basic matter, the Mexican cartels control practically all the heroin trafficking in the United States. Mexican drug trafficking companies dominate the marketplace for circulation and production.
According to the 2018 Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug Hazard Assessment, “The majority of the flow [of heroin] is through POVs (privately owned lorries) getting in the United States at legal ports of entry, followed by tractor-trailers, where the heroin is co-mingled with legal goods.”
Other methods of getting drugs in the nation from Mexico are by water, by air and through other borders, however those methods account for just a small percentage of the heroin taken by the U.S.
The quick boost in the variety of drug deaths recently is mainly attributable to fentanyl. But the fentanyl is primarily coming through the points of entry at the southwest border and it’s not just coming into the nation there– China is a significant source of fentanyl as well.
— Jack Date
Reality check No. 11— Food stamps
Trump:“Nearly 5 million Americans have been taken off food stamps.”
Context:Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Help Program was at an all-time high in 2013, however has been gradually dropping since the peak of the recession.
The Trump administration has repeatedly said it wants people to be off government programs like food stamps and end up being “self-dependent,” mentioning the enhancements in the economy recently. However a reduction in the number of individuals using the program does not tell the whole story.
Reinforced work mandates have actually been executed in a number of states, which have eliminated some people from food stamps based on their extended lack of work.
For instance, when a new deadline occurred in Georgia in April 2017, countless people were no longer part of the program– over night– because they did not acquire work. There has been argument over work requirements– which is a federal required– but the Trump administration in Dec. 2018 proposed to eliminate some authority of states to issue waivers for some in the program, unless an area’s unemployment rate exceeds 7 percent– a move to cut billions of dollars from the program over 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Farming.
— Stephanie Ebbs and Kris Schneider
Fact check No. 12— Sexual attacks of migrants en path to the southern border
Trump:“1 in 3 ladies is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers utilize migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and acquire access to our nation. Human traffickers and sex traffickers benefit from the large open locations in between our ports of entry to smuggle countless young ladies and ladies into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.”
Context:According to a report by Doctors Without Borders, “In a migration context marked by high vulnerability like the one in Mexico, sexual violence, unwanted sex, and transactional sex in exchange for shelter, security or for money was discussed by a substantial variety of male and female migrants in the studies. Considering a thorough definition of those categories, out of the 429 migrants and refugees that responded to SGBV concerns, 31.4 percent of women and 17.2 percent of guys had been sexually abused during their transit through Mexico.”
The Doctors Without Borders report does not use the term “attack” but rather abuse, which is a wider category. The report went on to state, “Thinking about only rape and other kinds of direct sexual violence, 10.7 percent of ladies and 4.4 percent of men were affected throughout their transit through Mexico.”
Human traffickers do smuggle kids and women into the United States and some wind up involved in prostitution or what can be called modern-day slavery. Exact numbers, however, are difficult to come by.
Human trafficking experts and immigration supporters refute the president’s reason for a wall as a means to stop human trafficking since the huge majority of victims pertain to the United States through legal means and go into through ports of entries and airports. According to a 2018 report by the Human Trafficking Legal Center, many foreign-born human trafficking victims enter the United States with legal visas thinking they will be offered a chance to work legitimate tasks.
— Jack Date
In the Democratic reaction, Stacey Abrams made a claim that did not have context.
Stacey Abrams:“The Republican tax costs rigged the system against working individuals. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to equal the actual cost of living.”
Score:DOING NOT HAVE CONTEXT
Context:While U.S. unemployment under the Trump administration has actually remained low and the country’s personal sector has added jobs– the genuine typical wage, which represents inflation, has actually barely moved. In reality, according to a 2018 Bench Research study the typical wage has the very same buying power as it did 40 years ago. The gains went to the top earners, the report points out.
“The evidence shows that the majority of the benefits from a corporate rate cut would go to those at the top, with just a small share flowing to low- and moderate-income families,” according to the Center on Spending Plan and Policy Priorities. The center likewise concluded that more than one-third of the benefit of corporate rate cuts flows to the leading 1 percent of Americans and 70 percent flows to the leading fifth.
Abrams statement that “layoffs are looming” is likewise overly broad and she didn’t offer any evidence to support that claim.
— Rachel Scot