Paul Ryan Supported Green Auto Loans Before Launching A Political Attack On The Program

Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, the father of the GOP’s slash and burn budget, is once again coming under scrutiny for asking the federal government for clean energy stimulus money.

Last month, Ryan was called out for securing more than $25 million in stimulus funds for clean energy programs in 2009 — even while publicly calling the program a “wasteful spending spree.”

And now more documents show that Ryan sought federal funds for advanced auto manufacturing projects in 2008.

The Energy Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program — signed into law by President George W. Bush — has been under relentless attack in stump speeches by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and also in a $6.1 million ad buy. For months, Republicans have pushed an imaginary story that an electric car automaker supported by the program shipped jobs overseas after receiving a loan guarantee.


But before Ryan ripped the loan program for “picking winners and losers in the economy,” he supported the program in a letter to Bush Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, according to Politico.

More interestingly, Ryan’s letter, which was co-signed by Wisconsin Democrats, recommends a change to the program’s disbursement method. Ryan requested lump-sum loans up front, thus changing the program’s incremental disbursement method that provides funds only if recipients reach certain milestones. (This is why Republicans’ favorite target, Fisker Automotive, has so far received a portion of its loan, not the full $500 million that opponents claim.)

Without mentioning his prior support, Ryan has repeatedly attacked Obama over clean energy loan guarantees:

RYAN: That’s why we’re offering big solutions to the big problems we have today and I would just say, if you take a look at the president’s policies he calls them ‘investments.’ It’s borrowing money and spending money through Washington, picking winners and losers. Spending money on favorite, you know, people like Solyndra or Fisker. Picking winners and losers in the economy through spending, through tax breaks, through regulations does not work.”

Ryan seems to be hoping that voters and journalists have a short memory. After newspapers reported that Ryan had secured more than $25 million in stimulus funds in 2009, he claimed he didn’t know he ever signed the letters.