FACT CHECK: MAGA Inc. Ad Misleads On Ron DeSantis’s Stance On Tax Cuts And Border Wall

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter
Make America Great Again (MAGA) Inc. released an ad claiming Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed a 23% to replace former President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Job Act and voted against funding for the border wall.

Verdict: Misleading

DeSantis did not advocate for the national sales tax to replace the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. DeSantis also voted for the the legislation. While he voted against the bill mentioned in the ad, DeSantis voted for another bill that would provide $38 billion for border security and authorized the building of a border wall.

Fact Check:

DeSantis announced his presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces despite a large amount of technical issues during the launch, according to The Associated Press. It comes as Trump has repeatedly criticized and attacked DeSantis before his formal entrance into the race, Reuters reported.

MAGA Inc., a Trump-aligned Super PAC, tweeted out an ad criticizing DeSantis’ record on Social Security, Medicare, a national sales tax and the border wall, claiming that the governor “fought against” Trump’s “America First agenda while in Washington.”

“2017: Trump passes huge taxes for nearly everyone. And Ron DeSantis? He’s pushing a bill that would swap those tax cuts for a 23 percent national sales tax, making families pay more,” the narrator states in the ad. “2018: Trump is building the wall, securing the border, fighting the invasion. While Ron DeSantis is voting against funding for Trump’s wall.”

The ad repeats accusations that DeSantis voted to cut Social Security and Medicare, a claim that was rated “half-true” by PolitiFact in 2018. The ad however, misleads on DeSantis and his positions on Trump’s tax cuts and funding for the border wall.

DeSantis cosponsored bills in 2013, 2015 and 2017 that advocated for replacing the current tax system with a national sales tax, according to Fox News. The 2017 bill was introduced in January, while the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Trump’s signature tax reform proposal, was introduced in November. (RELATED: No, Trump Did Not Share Incoherent Post)

DeSantis voted for the bill, which passed both chambers of Congress before being signed into law by Trump in December 2017. Check Your Fact could not find any reporting indicating that DeSantis attempted to replace the Trump tax cuts with a national sales tax.

The ad then claims that DeSantis voted “against funding for Trump’s wall.” While it is true that DeSantis voted no on the bill, the ad fails to mention Trump threatened to veto the bill because it did not fully fund the wall. The $1.3 trillion omnibus bill provided $1.6 billion for the border wall, while the Trump administration asked for $25 billion, according to Time.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

Trump did sign the bill, according to CNBC. DeSantis criticized the bill and said it “was drafted by a handful of members and staffers behind closed doors without the input of rank-and-file members,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“Stuffing more than $1.3 trillion in spending and a number of unrelated policy issues into a single, mammoth bill and ramming it through without any time for scrutiny shows that Congress has hit rock bottom,” DeSantis said at the time. (RELATED: Video Of DeSantis And Pence Meeting In Iowa Is From 2020)

The ad also fails to mention that DeSantis voted for the Securing America’s Future Act. The bill directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to “design, test, construct, install, deploy, and operate physical barriers…” The bill states that “the term ‘physical barriers’ includes reinforced fencing, border wall system, and levee walls.”

The bill put forth $38 billion toward border security, according to the National Immigration Forum. The group’s analysis states that the bill would have provided $18 billion for physical barriers and a wall.

The House Judiciary Committee released a one page sheet about the bill, saying it would “Build the Border Wall – Authorizes border wall construction.” The bill also would have provided funding for the border wall, though Congress failed to pass it in June 2018, according to The New York Times.

A spokesperson for MAGA Inc. provided a statement from spokeswoman Karolina Leavitt and the “facts behind the ad.” Check Your Fact is attaching the document the spokesperson sent, which does not prove that DeSantis pushed the national sales tax over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as claimed in the ad.

“The record is clear. Ron DeSantis wanted to raise taxes on middle class families. President Trump cut taxes. President Trump secured our border. Ron DeSantis voted against border wall funding. President Trump protected seniors’ benefits. Ron DeSantis voted to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Leavitt’s statement reads.

Check Your Fact reached out to a DeSantis spokesperson for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Correction 5/25/2023: The article has been corrected to note that the Securing America’s Future Act provided funding for a border wall and is different from the bill first referenced in this fact check. The rating remains unchanged. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].