Monday, December 28, 2009

Republicans Who Opposed The Stimulus Continue To Pan It As A ‘Failure,’ While Also Taking Credit For Its Success


Every Republican in the House and nearly every Republican Senator voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the stimulus). Although the Congressional Budget Office has credited the stimulus with creating up to 1.6 million jobs, the same GOP politicians who opposed the stimulus have attempted to justify their opposition to the policy by smearing it as a failure. But as ThinkProgress has documented, the same politicians are returning to their districts to take credit for the economic success of the stimulus.

In the past month, several more GOP lawmakers went home to their district to praise and claim credit for successful stimulus programs:

– Earlier this month, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) called the stimulus a “large-scale failure,” but last week hailed a stimulus program in Frankford, Missouri as “critical.” Referring to a $330,000 loan and $313,900 grant authorized by the stimulus, Luetkemeyer said, “Clearly, the 328 residents of Frankford will benefit from this grant and I appreciate the USDA’s willingness to help this community.” In September, Luetkemeyer requested $100 million from the stimulus for a road project in Missouri.

– On his campaign website, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) features his opposition to the “pork-filled” stimulus. However, on his congressional website, McCaul features a story from earlier this month about a largely stimulus-funded project to expand Highway 36 in Texas. In the story, he is thanked for “taking this project to the next phase of reality.” Noting its importance, McCaul says the highway expansion will “cut down on fatal crashes and ensure commerce can continue to move efficiently through Austin County and the rest of this important region.”

– On December 16th, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) sent out a press release hailing $1,044,140 in stimulus money Carroll County school system, while crediting himself for securing the money. “I am pleased that our office was able to assist them in obtaining these funds,” noted Davis in the release. On the same day, Davis blasted a separate release claiming that the stimulus had “failed.”

Of course, Luetkemeyer, McCaul, and Davis voted against the stimulus. Congressional Republican leadership, who helped corral partisan opposition to the Recovery Act, are also shamelessly attacking the stimulus while requesting stimulus money. As ThinkProgress has reported, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) recently hosted a job fair filled with jobs fueled by the stimulus, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been taking credit for stimulus projects in his home state.

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