Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Every single Republican in the House and the overwhelming majority of Republican in the Senate — with the exception of Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), and then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter — voted against the Recovery Act. The law passed in 2009, at a time when the economy was hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs per month
and has since saved or created 2.5 million jobs
Publicly, the GOP claims that the policy has “failed” and “made things worse,” but privately even Republicans have tried to take credit for some of its success. A 2010 report from ThinkProgress found that over half of the GOP caucus, 110 lawmakers — from the House and Senate — returned to their home states to claim credit for popular stimulus programs, attended “ribbon cuttings for the same projects that you voted against,” and even sought more stimulus funds for their states.
One such lawmaker is Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA). In February of 2009, Dent explained his opposition to the stimulus by claiming that the law “raises America’s debt by a record amount” and by October of that year pronounced that “stimulus funding has failed its original purpose — to stimulate the economy and create jobs.” However, that didn’t stop Dent from urging the Obama administration to use education stimulus dollars for four Pennsylvania state-related universities or relying on employers who benefited from the stimulus to employ his constituents.
On Saturday, July 14, Dent is hosting a Job Fair “open to anyone seeking a change in employment.” “This event aims to bring job seekers together with representatives from a wide range of employers from a variety of fields, seeking talented and capable workers for a diverse range of positions,” his website claims and lists 33 “employers and organizations that will be in attendance.” Six of those companies benefited from the stimulus, a ThinkProgress search of Recovery.gov revealed, receiving a combined total of $6,252,576 from the Recovery Act:
– Lehigh Carbon Community College: $2,532,039 total funds awarded.
– Lehigh Career and Technical Institute: $75,256 total funds awarded.
– Sacred Heart Hospital: $2,011 total funds awarded.
– Simplex Grinnell: $175,567 total funds awarded.
– Devereux: $1,281,113 total funds awarded.
– Easton Coach Company: $2,186,570 total funds awarded.