On Wednesday, ThinkProgress pointed out that several Republican lawmakers who voted against President Obama’s economic recovery package are now touting its benefits to their constituents. The New York Times picked up on the phenomena yesterday, writing that “the temptation to take credit for at least a few of those billions” has proved “irresistible” to the anti-stimulus lawmakers.
For instance, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) gushed after the passage of the bill he voted against, releasing a statement that applauded Obama’s “recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future.” Mica’s chief of staff, Rusty Roberts, defended his boss to the Times, saying that “it’s possible to oppose the entire bill on principle and favor certain sections of it.”
Roberts isn’t alone in this rationalization. Thus far, ThinkProgress has found at least 22 lawmakers who voted against the bill, but have spoken positively about what the money will do for their constituents. Here are a few examples that the New York Times missed:
— Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) bragged to Idaho lawmakers that “Approximately $400 million plus, maybe as much as $465 million will come to INL right here in Idaho for hundreds of new jobs and a significantly expedited clean up activity.”
– Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) defended his vote against the bill on Thursday, but added that he was “prepared to fight” for “Western North Carolina getting its fair share” of the stimulus money.