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4. Congressman Lights Own Pants on Fire.
In the run-up to the sequester, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) announced that if sequester cuts to federal fire-fighting grants came to pass, his Sacremento constituents would be put at risk. "People are going to be unsafe, homes are going to burn. We have to act." To underscore his point, Bera said that his district alone would lose $1.5 million from a particular federal grant program, or the equivalent of "one engine company." You could practically smell the flesh burning.
While it's not clear yet whether those cuts either have happened or will ever happen, the fact-checking outfit Politifact dug into Bera's numbers deep enough to learn that in the worst case scenario, the amount of reduced funding in question would amount to just $300,000 - or about one-fifth the amount Bera claimed. Even more damning for the congressman, Politifact calculated "the sequester could hold back two-tenths of 1 percent of the [Sacramento fire] department’s entire budget."
So if you smell smoke around Rep. Ami Bera, relax. It's just his pants that are on fire.
Next: Welcome to the Sequester's Hunger Games!...