The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

March 4, 2013
Ami Bera gets dinged for sounding alarm on sequester

Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, reading out of the Democratic playbook, is sounding the alarm about the "sequester" budget cuts.

The new congressman listed the potential impact in an op-ed for The Bee. Later that same day last week, he took to the floor of the House to weigh in against the across-the-board budget cuts.

But a nonpartisan fact-checking group says his gloomy language went too far in warning that "homes are going to burn."

At issue are federal grants used to hire firefighters, including at the Sacramento Metro Fire District. Politifact says that Bera overestimated the potential dollar loss and was engaging in speculation that the sequester would lead to more fires.

Overall, it gave Bera a "mostly false" for his claims.

Of course, Republicans, who hope to retake the 7th Congressional District seat in 2014, jumped all over that.

"Rather than using extreme rhetoric and scaring California families, Congressman Ami Bera should be explaining to voters what he's doing to minimize the sequester's effects and offer responsible alternatives," Alleigh Marre, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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