Crapo repeats debunked job-loss claim, sets 2014 ‘Tele-Townhall’ sched

Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo will take questions Wednesday from Idahoans during the first of four hour-long “Tele-Townhall” events scheduled for 2014.

Participants must sign up on Crapo’s Senate website by Monday at 3 p.m. Mountain Time. The call will run from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday. The other three dates for 2014 are May 14, Sept. 17 and Dec. 10.

In his news release announcing the dates Crapo repeats a debunked misinterpretation of a Congressional Budget Office study, alleging the Affordable Care Act will “force more than 2 million people from the workforce by 2017.”

Rather, the non-partisan CBO study said, workers will choose to leave the work force, in part because of federal health insurance subsidies and wider access to buy insurance without relying on employer-subsidized plans.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler rebutted the claim — made by GOP officials and in badly-written headlines — in a Tuesday posting headlined, “No, CBO kid not say Obamacare will kill 2 million jobs.”

Kessler gave the claim three Pinocchios on his four-Pinocchio scale “to anyone who deliberately gets this wrong.”

Here’s a quote Kessler drew from the CBO report, with his emphasis added:

“The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”

In Wednesday’s telephonic meeting, Crapo says he’ll discuss the new Farm Bill, the debt and federal spending, as well as taking calls.

Crapo has been conducting mass telephonic meetings with constituents since 2007.

His Thursday news release follows:

Crapo To Host First Tele-Townhall Of 2014

Call set for Wednesday, February 12; deadline to sign up is Monday, February 10 at 5:00PM eastern

 Washington, D.C. – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has scheduled his first statewide tele-townhall of the year for Wednesday, February 12.  The hour-long call will allow Crapo to hear directly from Idahoans about the many challenging issues facing the nation.  Crapo will also take time to explain the recently-passed Farm Bill and the flaws and benefits, including deficit reduction measures, associated with this important piece of legislation.  The call begins at 7:00 PM Mountain Time / 6:00 PM Pacific Time.

“As I said following the president’s State of the Union address, our nation faces some serious challenges in the months and years ahead,” Crapo noted.  “Idahoans want to see Washington work, but they also understand that a change of course is needed to break the federal government’s tax-and-spend addiction.  Just this week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that debt levels will not only remain at historically high post-World War II levels, but will rise substantially after 2017.  Additionally, we recently learned that Obamacare is going to force more than 2 million people from the workforce by 2017, adding further ailment to an already struggling job market.  The people of Idaho are frustrated, and I welcome their input and common-sense approaches to these topics.”

To sign up, please visit Crapo’s official website,, and click on the tele-townhall icon on the right side of the homepage under the Action Center.  This link will direct users to the townhall section of the website, where a sign up box is located in the middle of the page.  You may also click here to be taken directly to the tele-townhall page.  The deadline to register to ensure participation is Monday, February 10 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.

All that is needed to participate is a telephone.  Joining the call is voluntary, and listeners are given an opportunity to ask Crapo about topics regarding federal policies and legislation.  Those who have signed up in advance will receive an automated phone call just before the tele-townhall begins and will receive instructions on how to participate.

This is Crapo’s first of four scheduled tele-townhalls for 2014.  The schedule for the remaining townhalls are listed below, all tentatively set for 7:00PM Mountain Time / 6:00PM Pacific Time:

  • May 14, 2014
  • September 17, 2014
  • December 10, 2014


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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