Trying to Have it Both Ways: Republicans Criticize, Take Credit for Recovery Act

Last year, the Democratic-led Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to jumpstart the economy through job creation and invest in America's future–including energy, infrastructure, and education.

While every Congressional Republican voted against this legislation, many of those same Members have gone home to their districts to tout the Recovery Act's success. The latest examples:

Rep. Cantor (R-VA) says:

When the Administration took control 17 months ago, it had an opportunity to take extraordinary measures to create sustainable jobs and spur genuine economic growth. Instead it jammed through a nearly $1 trillion so-called stimulus plan that was heavy on funding for government programs and nearly empty on assistance for small businesses.

The stimulus proved to be the opening salvo of a flawed agenda…It’s an unmistakably European-style approach that turns to more government spending and interference as the solution to all of our nation’s problems.

But Rep. Cantor is hosting a jobs fair in his district on July 13th featuring “more than 70 employers” — including a number of private companies that benefited from the Recovery Act as well as several federal government agencies. Among the companies highlighted:


Giant defense and national intelligence contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., Reston, Va., has been awarded a contract by the CMS to 'design, develop, implement and maintain' the software and database to keep track of electronic health-record subsidy payments made by the Medicare and Medicaid programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


Hampton Roads will receive $3.2 million to make existing homes and businesses more energy efficient, federal officials said Thursday. The money, part of the federal stimulus package, requires a $16 million match, said Randy Gilliland, chairman of Green Jobs Alliance, the Hampton-based organization that will administer the grant. Utility companies, such as Dominion Virginia Power and Virginia Natural Gas, agreed to participate in the effort, as have trade associations, Realtors and mortgage companies, said Gilliland, who is also a Hampton councilman.


When Home Depot reported its first comparable store sales growth in almost four years on Tuesday, plenty of investors wanted to see it as evidence that housing is back…

So how did the big box retailer manage to beat expectations last quarter? Extenuating circumstances, including a lot of help from Uncle Sam.

Home Depot got a backdoor bailout due to first-time homebuyers tax credit, which Congress extended through April of this year. With more Americans jumping to buy new homes before the program’s end, Home Depot sold more lumber, bathtubs, and light bulbs to outfit those homes. It also got a boost from the Cash For Appliances Rebate Program, which gave customers an added incentive to trade in their old appliances for new, energy-efficient replacements.


The University of Richmond has received several federal grants funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)…

Rep. Wamp (R-TN) has made yet another entry in the chronicles of Recovery Act hypocrisy. He says:

The hundreds of billions in stimulus spending has not successfully restarted our economy or created a significant number of jobs. This reckless borrowing and spending cannot be sustained.

But on June 25th, Rep. Wamp issued a press release touting Alstom's new turbine manufacturing plant in Chattanooga:

Alstom's investment into Chattanooga means good high-end manufacturing jobs for our region's workers,” said Congressman Zach Wamp. “The location of this factory underscores the importance of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley Technology Corridor for energy technologies in the nation.

The $300 million factory represents the largest industrial investment by Alstom in decades, and will allow the company to make the world's largest turbines. The company is expected to add 350 jobs by 2013, bringing the total numbers of employees in Chattanooga to nearly 1,000.

This plant was made possible by $63 million in clean energy technology tax credits in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Read more about the successes of the Recovery Act»

Learn more about provisions in the Recovery Act to get our economy moving again, and transform it for long-term growth and stability:

Clean, Efficient, American Energy

Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology

Lowering Health Care Costs and Ensuring Broader Coverage

Investing in Education for the 21st Century

Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways

Tax Cuts for Middle-Class Families and American Businesses

Helping Workers Hurt by the Recession

Spurring Job Creation by American Businesses Large and Small

Creating Jobs & Improving Quality of Life for Our Troops and Veterans

Strengthening Rural America

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