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Michigan Republicans sought stimulus funds, argued money would generate jobs

Newsweek reveals a series of newly released documents from the Department of Energy that shows all of the Republican members of the Michigan congressional delegation seeking stimulus funding for projects in the state on the grounds that such spending would create jobs — despite frequently claiming that the stimulus bill created no jobs.

The story names Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) as one of several dozen Republican legislators who have slammed the Obama stimulus plan for not creating any jobs while simultaneously seeking funding that, they say, would create lots of jobs.

In Nov. 2010, in fact, Obama grilled Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the subject, challenging him to document how many jobs his agency’s stimulus spending had created — only five weeks after writing the last of ten letters to Chu asking for funding for solar and other energy projects in Michigan, arguing that those projects would create some 5,000 jobs in the state.

But Upton is hardly alone in this regard. Those letters were signed by all of the members of the Michigan congressional delegation, including several others who have argued that the stimulus bill has not created any jobs. Rep. Mike Rogers, for example, has claimed that stimulus spending only created one job in his district and very few in the state of Michigan.

Then-Rep. Pete Hoekstra, now running for the Republican nomination to challenge for Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat, went on CNN and said that the stimulus spending “has not helped my community or helped the state.” But he signed all of those letters arguing that spending on Michigan stimulus projects would create thousands of jobs.

Rep. Candice Miller likewise has said that the stimulus bill “has failed to provide the promised jobs.” Rep. Dave Camp has made the same claim:

“Michigan, which consistently has the nation’s highest unemployment rate, has been particularly hard-hit by the failings of the stimulus plan,” said Camp. “It is clear from today’s jobs report that stimulus has failed to do what it promised and failed to create jobs for American workers. Eight months after the President signed the stimulus bill, we are all still asking: where are the jobs?”

Rep. Thad McCotter gave a speech on the House floor asking, “Where are the jobs?”

It seems that every one of these legislators firmly believe that stimulus spending will create jobs in Michigan, which would be good for them politically, but somehow creates a negative number of jobs everywhere else. And Republican legislators in every other state seem to think the same thing of their state.

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