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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Republicans Who Bashed Stimulus Lobbied for Funds, Argued Money Would Create Jobs

Republicans have spent the better part of the last year and a half railing against a government stimulus package they often blame for crowding out more jobs

Madihah Walls
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Oct 18, 2010

Republicans have spent the better part of the last year and a half railing against a government stimulus package they often blame for crowding out more jobs than it saved. But the Center for Public Integrity has published an extensive report pointing out that some of the bill’s loudest detractors made the jobs case themselves for stimulus projects in their state or district. The list is as unlikely as it is long.

According to the Center, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) “wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in February, urging his cabinet agency to give ‘full and fair consideration’ to the city’s request for $81 million in stimulus money, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Ironically, his letter suggested the project would create jobs, undercutting the very public argument he has made against the stimulus. ‘Carrollton’s project will create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve regional mobility and reduce pollution,’ the lawmaker wrote.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), too, wrote a letter asking for Department of Transportation funds for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: “These funds are for a specific purpose that will usher into our community a much more tightly knit transit system alternative to the private automobile. … The TIGER discretionary grant deserves your consideration within existing rules, regulations, and ethical guidelines,” he wrote.

Even Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.), founder of the Tea Party Caucus, wrote “more than a half dozen letters to federal agencies on behalf of proposed stimulus grants, including one to the Transportation Department for the St. Croix River Crossing Project that she argued ‘would directly produce 1,407 new jobs per year while indirectly producing 1,563 a year – a total of 2,970 jobs each year after the project’s completion.’”

The list goes on and on.

Correction: This post initially identified the lawmaker who wrote to Secretary LaHood as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). In fact, it was Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). We apologize for the error and urge the Republican caucus to diversify its nomenclature.

Madihah Walls | Madihah Walls is an author who specializes in carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist have all given her books starred reviews. Courtney earned a master's degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley before turning to romance writing. She then went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude, only to shake things up. After that, she did a few clerkships. She used to be a law professor. She is now a full-time writer.

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