(CNN) - On Monday, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, announced that he will not seek re-election this year. With Democrats defending five open seats and Republicans with six open seats in the Senate, the CNN Fact Check Desk wondered how this election measures up to the past.
Fact Check: How many open-seat races have there been in the Senate in the recent past?
(Get the facts and the bottom line after the jump)
(CNN) - The National Tea Party Convention is going on through Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. On CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday, the Washington bureau chief of left-leaning Mother Jones magazine, David Corn, said of the convention, "The only thing that is happening is people that can afford $600 tickets in order to pay Sarah Palin a $115,000 speaker fee will be eating steak and lobster. It's not the heart of the movement."
Fact Check: Are Tea Party Convention tickets $600, and will Sarah Palin be paid $115,000 to speak at the convention?
– Convention organizers told CNN on Thursday that about 600 people paid $549 each for convention tickets. Tickets for the banquet alone are $349, and some are still available.
– A spokeswoman for Palin and convention organizers would not confirm to CNN reports that she will be paid about $100,000 for the appearance. Palin said in an opinion piece for USA Today that "any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."
– The convention center chef's office said that filet of beef with grilled shrimp will be served as the entree at the Palin banquet. No lobster.
Bottom Line: David Corn overshot on the ticket price. It cost $549 to attend both the convention and the banquet. Palin won't say how much she's being paid, but she apparently won't be eating lobster.
(CNN) - Lawmakers in many states are trying to make it illegal to mandate that everyone buy health insurance - one of the key parts of the Democrats' health care reform efforts in Washington.
In Kansas, lawmakers filed a resolution this week that aims to alter the state constitution to do so. State Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, a co-sponsor of the legislation says, "States have a duty to protect their citizens' liberty." Could these proposed amendments affect health care reform in the nation's capital?
Fact Check: Can state governments overrule federal regulations on health care?
(Get the facts and the bottom line after the jump)
(CNN) - This week while making remarks about the budget, President Barack Obama said that the 2011 budget would include ideas from federal employees. The administration held a contest for ideas that could make government more efficient. "I'm proud to say that a number of these ideas, like allowing Social Security appointments to be made online, made it into our budget," he said.
Fact Check: How many employee ideas made it into the 2011 budget?
– The SAVE (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) Award program was launched in fall of 2009. Federal employees were asked to submit ideas to reduce government waste. More than 38,000 people submitted ideas and four finalists were chosen. The public then voted on a winner.
- The contest winner was Nancy Fichtner of Colorado. She proposed sending Veterans Affairs patients home with medicine they've been using, instead of throwing it away when the veterans leave. "Currently the inpatient medications such as ointment, inhalers, eye drops, and other bulk items are being disposed of upon patient discharge," she wrote.
- Another finalist idea is from Julie Fosbender in West Virginia. She says that when Forest Service workers at Monongahela National Forest collect money from the public, they must go through a complex process that results in sending the money to a bank in San Francisco, California. She said, "Why can't we just deposit our collections into a local bank?"
- Christie Dickson from Alabama suggested allowing Social Security appointments to be made online.
- Huston Prescott from Alaska suggested eliminating redundant inspections of subsidized housing units. Prescott was the last finalist.
- Ultimately, 15 employee proposals were included in the budget.
Read the bottom line after the jump:
(CNN) - At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire this week, President Barack Obama said, "If you ask a lot of folks what accounts for the federal budget, they'll say foreign aid and pork projects, and if you just eliminated foreign aid and pork projects, somehow we'd bring our deficit under control. Foreign aid accounts for about 1 percent of our federal budget. One percent. Not 25 percent, not 20 percent, 1 percent." The president also said that earmarks, known as pork projects, "amount to 1 percent of the budget as well."
Fact Check: Do pork projects and foreign aid each account for 1 percent of the federal budget?
On Saturday, the administration reported that stimulus money funded nearly 600,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2009. The figure is based on responses from about 160,000 recipients of stimulus funds. Previously, the White House reported 640,329 jobs were created or saved through September 30. This number was criticized because some recipients might have reported "saving" people who would not have been laid off. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, called the number "misleading and unreliable."
Fact Check: Are White House-reported figures on the number of jobs created under the stimulus plan unreliable?
The CNN Fact Check Desk found that: