Earlier this year, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) — commonly referred to as the stimulus — without a single Republican vote in the House of Representatives. Since then, a whole host of legislators who opposed the stimulus have jumped on the chance to personally deliver stimulus funds to their cash-strapped districts.
The latest member of Congress to engage in this hypocrisy is Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Earlier this month, Gingrey appeared in the city of Cedartown, Georgia, to present a giant check of $625,000 in stimulus funds to the city commission to help fund the the city’s Streetscape project, which will install new sidewalks and infrastructure:
The money comes from federal stimulus funds and will fund the second phase of Cedartown’s Streetscape project, with new sidewalks, landscaping and other improvements to the downtown area. [...]
Believing that the project qualified for federal stimulus funds as a “shovel-ready” project, Gingrey presented the proposal at the federal level, his spokesperson, Linda Liles, explained. [..]
“These federal dollars will allow us to work both phases together and complete Streetscape by mid-2010,” [City Commissioner Scott] Tillery said. “This will be a big boost for the historic downtown area and for the whole city.
Gingrey joins numerous other conservatives in opposing the stimulus while touting its benefits and exploiting its funds. For example, following their votes against the stimulus, Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to steer $50 million in stimulus funding into a bio-energy project they supported. Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) boasted about securing funds for streetcar expansions that came from ARRA funds. And perhaps the biggest hypocrite of all, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), toured his state handing out jumbo-sized checks that were funded by the stimulus, despite his pledge that if he was still a member of Congress, he would’ve voted against the Recovery Act.