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Republicans Hate The Stimulus But Love Stimulus Dollars

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

It’s a common refrain from Republicans in the year since the $787 billion stimulus became law: trash it in public but accept or even beg for the money for their districts in private.

When the stimulus package (H.R.1) passed last year, only three Republicans voted for it: Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME], Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME], and Sen. Arlen Specter [D, PA]. At the time, Specter had yet to switch parties.

But as the Wall Street Journal reports, several GOP lawmakers who have called the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree” and “the socialist way,” among other things, have privately supported requests for stimulus dollars for their own districts:

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers supported stimulus-funding requests submitted to the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Service, in letters obtained by The Wall Street Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

Some of these lawmakers include Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1], Rep. Jean Schmidt [R, OH-2] and Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL].

Democrats hope to make this an issue in the upcoming midterm elections. President Obama criticized Republicans for praising stimulus money while decrying the stimulus at his live Q&A session last month with the House GOP caucus and Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] is urging Congressional Democrats to tout the stimulus, which she calls “a hallmark achievement of this Congress.”

This WSJ story comes on the heels of a Washington Times story pointing out out its own “dirty dozenGOP lawmakers for being stimulus hypocrites and after MSNBC host Rachel Maddow called out Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18] along the same lines on Sunday’s Meet The Press:

[J]ust this week you were at a community college touting a $350,000 green technology education program, talking about how great that was going to be for your district. You voted against the bill that created that grant. And so that’s happening a lot with Republicans sort of taking credit for things that Democratic bills do, and then Republicans simultaneously touting their votes against them and trashing them. That’s, I think, a, a, a problem that needs to be resolved within, within your caucus, because, I mean, you seem like a very nice person, but that’s very hypocritical stance to take.

Watch the segment here:

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  • Glenriven 02/16/2010 9:36am

    If the taxpayers are forking over $787,000,000,000 for stimulus, I think it is only proper that Republicans are looking to see that it gets spent properly. I didn’t want it, but since its here it doesn’t need to go to nothing but liberal causes.

  • Comm_reply
    cerebralscrub44 02/16/2010 10:28am

    Yeah totally, that makes a lot of sense Glen. Vote against the stimulus, then use the money you never wanted to support your own agenda. Screw liberal causes like improving education and creating green jobs – we should use the stimulus money to support conservative causes like deregulating the economy (reward the banks, definitely, they’re doing an awesome job) and…I mean definitely deregulate the economy. Smaller government. Hands off our tax money. Deregulate. Well darn, help me out with some more of these conservative causes, I’ve run short of ideas.

  • sbrawsm 02/16/2010 7:36pm

    If Republicans have to pay for it in the end, of course they are going to want some of that money.
    I would prefer to see a bill without 9000 ear marks in it this time.

  • JSeverson 02/17/2010 4:11am

    It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. If Republicans take the money, they get called hypocrites. If they refuse the money, they are accused of not caring about their constituents. The way I see it, the money is going to be spent anyways and the people of Republican districts are going to have to help pick up the tab. So it’s only right that Republican districts receive a piece of the pie.

    In an ideal world, the remainder of the Stimulus should, instead of going towards pork projects, go instead to paying down our debt.

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