This morning, USA Today reported that two days before he voted against the economic stimulus package Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) requested over $180 million in stimulus money from the EPA and the Department of Agriculture. Bennett, attempting to explain this apparent contradiction, told USA Today that “as long as it passed and they’re handing out money, they might as well hand it out where it will do some good.” But in a statement he released after voting against the bill, Bennett claimed the recovery legislation could do no good. “The only thing this bill will stimulate is the national debt,” said Bennett:
The economy is in serious trouble, and we need to do the very best we can to restore confidence in our economy and in our future. Our country desperately needs a stimulus package, but I don’t think the bill passed today is the right medicine. I regret that this opportunity to put our economy back on track has been squandered. We should have passed a bill that focused on fixing housing, helping taxpayers keep more of their hard earned money through permanent tax cuts, and spending only on projects that would genuinely stimulate the economy and create jobs. Unfortunately, the only thing this bill will stimulate is the national debt.
USA Today also found that 13 other Republicans who had voted against the stimulus had also requested stimulus funding for their states or districts.