Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on more than a dozen Republican lawmakers who voted against the stimulus last year but subsequently “supported stimulus-funding requests” submitted by their constituents to federal agencies. One such lawmaker was Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), who said she didn’t believe “that it would create the jobs that were promised.” In November, she even issued a call to “recall the stimulus funds that have not been spent.” Of course, Schmidt wasn’t so concerned about the federal deficit to turn down supporting “funding requests from local organizations training workers for energy-efficiency projects.”
Today, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto pushed her on her hypocrisy. Schmidt spun all sorts of circles trying to justify her move, saying that she would still “return that money to the Treasury” if she could, but the “genie is out of the bottle.” Cavuto repeatedly asked her how Republicans were any different from Democrats, pointed out how what they were doing was “offensive” to some folks, and hit her for sending a “mixed message.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) went on next and defended Schmidt: “She’s being very genuine in saying, ‘Look, I wouldn’t have voted for the stimulus.’ … But if she’s going to be held accountable, and the people in her district and the people in the entire country are going to have to pay for it, well then yes, certainly the Democrats aren’t suggesting that the stimulus dollars go to just the Democratic counties.” “You’re being very selective in your rage here,” concluded Cavuto. Watch it:
Democrats were never saying that all the money should go to Democratic districts; they were saying that Republicans should have been helping to bring money to all districts without simultaneously spouting political attacks claiming that the stimulus wasn’t going to “create any jobs.”
Also in the interview, Chaffetz claimed he wasn’t one of the lawmakers begging for stimulus handouts:
CAVUTO: Did constituents seek you out and say, “Could you get funding for me for this,” and did you turn them down? Yes or no.
CHAFFETZ: Well, in general, yes, I did turn them down.
Chaffetz must have forgotten about the letter he and other Utah lawmakers sent the Interior Department “on behalf of the Provo River Water Users Association seeking $95 million in [stimulus] funds.”