Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, answers a question during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami, as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro listens. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

AP FACT CHECK: Claims from the 1st Democratic debate

June 26, 2019 - 9:17 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten Democrats seeking the presidency tussled on a Miami stage Wednesday night in the opening debate of the 2020 campaign, with 10 more on tap Thursday.

A look at some of their statements and how they compare with the facts:

JULIAN CASTRO, former federal housing secretary: "I would do something starting with something we should have done a long time ago, which was to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. And also pursue legislation so women are paid equal pay for equal work in this country. It's past time we do that."

THE FACTS: It would be past time if it hadn't already happened. It has been illegal to pay men more than women for the same work, or vice versa, since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963. Disparities, however, persist despite the law.

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TIM RYAN, U.S. representative from Ohio: "The bottom 60% haven't seen a raise since 1980. The top 1% control 90% of the wealth."

THE FACTS: Those figures exaggerate the state of income and wealth inequality. While few studies single out the bottom 60%, the Congressional Budget Office calculates that the bottom 80% of Americans have seen their incomes rise 32% since 1979. That is certainly lower than the doubling of income enjoyed by the top one-fifth of income earners. And the richest 1% possess 32% of the nation's wealth, according to data from the Federal Reserve , not 90%.

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Associated Press writers Christopher Rugaber, Calvin Woodward and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.

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