Ever since the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus) passed over opposition from every House Republican and nearly every Republican in the Senate, ThinkProgress has carefully documented how opponents of the stimulus have called the program a failure, while at the same time taking credit for its success in their home districts.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), a vocal opponent of the stimulus, confronted President Obama and told him that the program would be a waste shortly before the vote. “Mr. President, I think it’s more than a little bit selfish to try to solve our economic problems which we created by burdening future generations yet to be born,” Bartlett said to Obama, according to Fox News. But with stimulus projects helping to boost the western Maryland region Bartlett represents, Bartlett is singing a different tune to his constituents. In a press statement blasted by his office earlier this week, Bartlett “announced” a $115,240,581 grant to “expand broadband internet access throughout western Maryland”:
Congressman Bartlett said, “This $115,240,581 grant to the state of Maryland is part of the federal government’s effort to expand broadband access to less populated, rural areas. Through a public-private partnership, the state will deploy its One Maryland Broadband Network to provide abundant, affordable broadband internet to western Maryland and other areas of the state. In Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, our founders gave Congress the power to ‘establish Post Offices and Post Roads.’ They recognized that it was a federal government responsibility to ensure that there was a means of communication and transportation between the states. Technology has evolved over time and the post roads of yesterday have evolved into the internet of today. This initiative is very important to western Marylanders since it will enable our residents and businesses access to a tool that is vital to commerce in our national and global economy.”
Bartlett’s release did not disclose that the program is funded entirely by the stimulus. Of course, Bartlett, a good friend of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), tries to posture as a courageous, anti-government Tea Party lawmaker. But in reality, he’s just a hypocrite who votes against vital reforms and spending programs in Washington, while sheepishly trying to take credit for their success back at home.