FACT CHECK: Ryan’s Recovery Act Hypocrisy
Congressman Ryan used his speech to tout his opposition to the Recovery Act, falsely claiming it had failed to save jobs or help the economy. What he failed to mention is that he repeatedly sought Recovery Act funds for his own district.
EVEN AS HE RAILED AGAINST STIMULUS BILL, RYAN LOBBIED FOR STIMULUS DOLLARS FOR HIS STATE
2009: The Same Year He “Was Railing Against President Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus Package” Ryan “Wrote At Least Four Letters To Obama’s Secretary Of Energy Asking That Millions Of Dollars From The Program Be Granted To A Pair Of Wisconsin Conservation Groups.” “In 2009, as Rep. Paul D. Ryan was railing against President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package as a ‘wasteful spending spree,’ he wrote at least four letters to Obama’s secretary of energy asking that millions of dollars from the program be granted to a pair of Wisconsin conservation groups, according to documents obtained by the Globe. The advocacy appeared to pay off; both groups were awarded the economic recovery funds—one receiving a $20 million grant to help thousands of local businesses and homes improve their energy efficiency, agency documents show.” [Boston Globe, 8/14/12]
Boston Globe Headline: “In Paul Ryan’s District, He Supported US Energy Funds While Decrying Stimulus Program.” [Boston Globe, 8/14/12]
Boston Globe: “Documents Show That Ryan’s Attempts To Take Advantage Of The Stimulus Funds Even After He Voted Against Them Was More Expansive Than Previously Reported.” “The documents show that Ryan’s attempts to take advantage of the stimulus funds even after he voted against them was more expansive than previously reported. Ryan was criticized by some House Democrats in 2010 after the Wall Street Journal reported that he was among several Republicans lawmakers who sought the stimulus money for their constituents by, in his case, writing a letter in 2010 to the Department of Labor. The additional letters include his praise for the energy program’s aims, and clash with his own budget priorities, which call for curtailing many of the same Department of Energy investments that are designed to spur the growth of green technologies and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.. ‘I was pleased that the primary objectives of their project will allow residents and businesess in the partner cities to reduce their energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate the local economy by creating new jobs,’ Ryan wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu on December 18, 2009, on behalf of the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation.” [Boston Globe, 8/14/12]
Associated Press: Ryan “Said He Had Forgotten” Sending Signed Requests To The Energy And Labor Departments Asking For Money On Behalf Of Wisconsin Companies. “The Wisconsin congressman said he had forgotten that his office sent letters - with his signature - to the Energy and Labor departments asking for money from the stimulus program on behalf of two companies in his home state. ‘They should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that,’ Ryan said in a written statement released only after he again denied requesting stimulus funds Thursday in an Ohio television interview.” [Associated Press, 8/17/12]