Last week, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) joined other Republican House members to engage in lengthy, repetitive speeches droning on about why they believe the Recovery Act has been a failure. Per instructions given by Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Republicans have been tasked with slamming the stimulus and asking “Where are the jobs?” as part of a “floor game” maneuver to slow down reform on other issues, especially health care.
On July 28th, Kingston’s press office fired off two releases bragging about a $106,901 grant for the Alma Police Department and a $138,286 grant for the Jesup Police Department in Georgia. These grants, distributed by the Department of Justice for the “hiring of new police officers, to combat violence against women, and to fight Internet crimes against children,” were fully-funded by President Obama’s Recovery Act. Nonetheless, Kingston took credit for them, calling the funds “local initiatives” unrelated to the policies set forth in Washington and a type of “tax relief” for local communities:
“We’ve seen from experience that local initiatives go a lot further toward solving local problems that policies set in Washington. This funding will provide tax relief by savings local tax dollars and, under the stewardship of Chief Livingston, will go a long way to fight crime more effectively through community policing.”
On July 28th, the same day he took credit for jobs created by the Recovery Act, Kingston took to the floor to slam Obama and the Recovery Act:
KINGSTON: Mr. President, where’s the stimulus package? Where are the jobs? […] Mr. Speaker, this is not the change the folks in Coffee County, Georgia, can use. They need jobs.
Even though Kingston vigorously opposed and voted against the Recovery Act, this is not the first time he has boasted about stimulus funds for his district. In June, Kingston announced $2,707,777 in community block grant funding for the city of Savannah. Although he did not acknowledge that most of the funds came directly from the Recovery Act, Kingston declared them to be “even more important during this tough economic period.” Of the money Kingston announced, $1,121,523 came from the HPRP program enabled by the Recovery Act, and at least $733,133 was also allocated by the Recovery Act.