During his gubernatorial campaign, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) repeatedly criticized the Recovery Act, saying that although it was “massive,” he didn’t think it would “have a stimulus effect.” From the Virginian-Pilot in 2009:
Republican Bob McDonnell is the lone critic [of the stimulus], saying “This bill contains significant categories of spending that may do little to help the economy.”
McDonnell has praised GOP congressional members who voted against the plan, saying the increased debt “is not going to be good long-term for America,” but he says he believes Virginia should collect its share of the stimulus anyway.
However, now that he’s in office and facing real budget challenges, he’s singing a different tune. On Monday, McDonnell proudly “announced that Virginia will receive a total of $24 million in federal funding to advance health information technology” — money made possible by the stimulus, which McDonnell conveniently failed to mention. McDonnell’s spokesman insisted that the previous governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, applied for the funds, but that didn’t stop McDonnell from touting them.
Yesterday, McDonnell went even further and asked for more stimulus dollars:
— McDonnell said he would “support Congress extending the federal stimulus bill to help states cover rising health care costs, a potential infusion of funds that Virginia lawmakers hope will help close a more than $4 billion budget shortfall.” He added that because Medicaid costs have “just grown so fast, until we have some federal health care reform that really addresses cost, if the federal government is willing to help us for a short period of time, that would be fine.”
— In a meeting at the U.S. Capitol, McDonnell urged the state’s congressional delegation to “help him secure stimulus funds to help build a Rolls Royce manufacturing plant in Prince George County.”
Apparently, McDonnell has concluded that the stimulus is now able “to help the economy.”
Read ThinkProgress’ report on the GOP’s stimulus hypocrisy here.