Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) has staggered to the right, voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the stimulus), financial regulation reform, the recent jobs package, and health reform. Running for the U.S. Senate this year, Castle has cast aside his image of a GOP moderate and joined his conservative colleagues in their reflexive opposition. But despite his right-wing voting record, Castle is attempting to drum up positive media coverage by claiming ownership over one of the progressive measures he voted to kill.
In the past two weeks, Castle has blasted multiple press releases publicizing stimulus funds awarded to his state. In his most recent release, he not only calls the money “imperative,” but in “announcing” the funds, he tacitly claims credit for securing them:
Washington | January 7, 2010 — Delaware Congressman Mike Castle announced today that $5,230,610 has been awarded to the State to assist families and individuals in need. […] “As we face the coldest season of the year, it is imperative we provide those programs serving Delaware’s most disadvantaged families and individuals with the resources necessary to house, feed, and protect those in desperate need,” said Rep. Castle. “These grants, totaling more than $5 million, will help the invaluable organizations and programs which are working to help the homeless, hungry, and those facing economic hardship throughout the State.”
— The Castle release announces $4,735,313 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care program. According to the HUD website, the Continuum of Care initiative is enabled through $1.5 billion in money authorized by the stimulus.
— The Castle release announces $495,297 to Delaware’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to Grants.gov, the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program is enabled by $100 million in funding through the stimulus.
While Castle’s duplicitous release reeks of hypocrisy, it places him firmly within the status quo of Republican lawmakers. Castle’s leaders in the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA), have lavished praise upon stimulus projects in their districts, while attacking the stimulus as a failure to the DC press corps. And Castle’s prospective leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has also ridiculed the stimulus as a complete waste, while firing off releases boasting about stimulus-funded construction.