Every single Republican in the House voted against the $819 billion Recovery Act in January. Among the Republican senators who voted against the stimulus were Texas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. Both of them complained that they wanted to see more tax cuts rather than government spending.
But now, both Hutchison and Cornyn are pressuring the Obama administration to give Texas $3 billion in stimulus funds. The co-signers on the letter are a bipartisan group of the Texas delegation in the House, including 19 Republicans, all of whom also voted against the funds for which they’re now begging. The letter was drafted and circulated by GOP Rep. Pete Olson. From the letter:
Therefore, to ensure the U.S. maintains its leadership in human space exploration, we respectfully ask that you include in your promised amended budget request for NASA’s Exploration Systems a request to Congress to reallocate the necessary funds for NASA from the funds that we anticipate will remain available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As of last month, less than 15 percent of ARRA funds had been expended.
Since the stated purpose of the stimulus package was to secure good jobs and stabilize our economy, there is no better investment that could be made than the addition of up to $3 billion to NASA in FY2010, and the projection of at least that level of increase, as recommended by your Committee, at a 2.4% rate of inflation in the out-year projections included in the initial FY2010 Request.
Cornyn said that while the stimulus funding “that has already been spent [is] clearly not working, it is my hope that the Administration will use a portion of the remaining, authorized, unspent stimulus dollars to safeguard our nation’s space program.”
Texas isn’t the only state showing this stimulus hypocrisy. Some other examples:
— Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) is now criticizing Gov. Tim Kaine (D) for being “slow” to spend the stimulus money allocated for Virginia — even though if Wolf and his Republican colleagues would have had their way, there would be no extra money for the state at all. “We could use that money desperately,” Wolf told reporters. “We’re in a critical situation.”
— Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also voted against the Recovery Act and has since called it a failure. The stimulus, Grassley told the National Review last week, “is not working.” In June, he had harsher words, saying the stimulus had no positive impact on the economy, “none whatsoever.” But recently, Grassley announced two grants totaling $399,875 to Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa and Goodwill Industries of the Heartland through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration program. “These funds will give a hand up to our veterans who have fought bravely and selflessly for our country,” Grassley said. The funds were authorized by the Recovery Act. (UPDATE: These grants were from FY 2009.)