FACT CHECK — Hirono: I'm Only Candidate Who Opposed Bush Tax Cuts

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In the first television advertisement for Mazie Hirono's U.S. Senate campaign, the congresswoman argues that the nation "can't go back to the Bush policies that have left America deep in debt."

The ad then states, "The only candidate for U.S. Senate from either party with the judgment to oppose the Iraq war. Mazie Hirono. The only candidate who opposed Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. Democrat Mazie Hirono."

Hirono is comparing herself to Republican Linda Lingle and fellow Democrat Ed Case.

There's no disputing where Lingle stood on Iraq and tax cuts. She was the Hawaii chair of President Bush's re-election in 2004 and even campaigned on his behalf on the mainland.

As for Case, let's leave aside for now the charge about Iraq and focus on the Bush tax cuts.

Case has blasted tweets and emails in recent days saying Hirono is wrong and that he too opposed the cuts.

So is Hirono's ad accurate?

Bills and Votes

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, enacted under President George W. Bush, are commonly known as the "Bush tax cuts."

Case was not in Congress in 2001, but he did represent the 2nd Congressional District in 2003. He voted against the Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.

The "Bush tax cuts" also generally refers to legislation that either extends provisions of the 2001 and 2003 acts or similarly benefits the wealthy.

Asked by Civil Beat what it based its TV ad on concerning the Bush tax cuts, Hirono Campaign Manager Betsy Lin said the ad refers directly to votes by Case in 2004 and 2006.

Case's 2004 yea vote was on the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The Hirono campaign, citing government watchdogs Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Concord Coalition, says, "The bill also included billions of dollars worth of new tax breaks for business into the bill shortly before passage."

The 2006 yea vote was for Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act, a $69 billion bill that extended Bush's tax cuts for investors for two more years. Case was one of only 15 Democrats to support the measure.

Bottom Line: It’s clear that Case voted against the Bush tax cut when he opposed the Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Hirono’s claim that she is the only Hawaii Senate candidate who opposed Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy is false.


DISCUSSION: What do you think about Mazie Hirono's claim? Share your thoughts below.

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