An ad paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee claims Democratic Congressman Ami Bera voted for a gas tax increase and first class travel for lawmakers.
"Bera backed a plan that would raise the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon, making it harder to fill up your tank," the ad says. "And while Bera would have you pay more for travel, he’d make it easier for himself, voting for first class airfare and special perks for Congress."
We asked our panel of experts at Sacramento State to fact-check the ad. Journalism Professor Molly Dugan says the claim about the gas tax is misleading.
"The ad does make it seem like this was Ami Bera’s plan to raise gas tax by 15 cents per gallon, and it wasn’t," she says. "It was one line in a large outline that would just be used as a framework for federal deficit reduction."
Dugan says the amendment Bera voted for would have allowed the consideration of a possible deficit reduction plan.
Government Professor Danielle Joesten says the claim about Bera voting for first class travel is also misleading. Bera actually voted against a House Republican budget bill.
"Within that bill, buried at the very end of it, there was some language that did prohibit members of Congress using their travel allowance for first class airfare," she says. "But the way that the ad is framed, it makes it sound like Ami Bera is traveling first class all the time, that he wants tax payer money to go towards House members traveling first class."
Joesten points out the ban on first class travel wouldn’t save any money, just limit how members can spend their allocated travel allowance.