Paul Ryan may have publicly criticized the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion federal stimulus package aimed at kickstarting the economy, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to get some of that money for the State of Wisconsin, according to a Boston Globe report.
Ryan called the bill a “wasteful spending spree” that “misses the mark on all counts,” but wrote a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in October in 2009 supporting a grant application from a group in his district which “intended to place 1,000 workers in green jobs,” according to the Wall Street Journal,
But on October 28, 2010, in a WBZ Nightside with Dan Rea interview, a caller asked Ryan if he had sought any of the money, to which Ryan responded that he would not vote against the bill “then write to the government to ask them to send us money.” He added, “I did not request any stimulus money.”
Au contraire, mon fraire. According to the Boston Globe, he sent the first of a series of letters on behalf of Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC), stating that the stimulus money would:
“[C]reate or retain approximately 7,600 new jobs over the three-year grant period and the subsequent three years…
…I was pleased that the primary objectives of their project will allow residents and businesses in the partner cities to reduce their energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate the local economy by creating new jobs.”
Yesterday Ryan once again denied that he asked for stimulus money while appearing on Cincinnati’s WCPO. This, of course, could be a major problem for the Romney campaign and, although it is relatively old news, it will no doubt be seized upon by Democrats in the presidential debates.
It’s hard to believe that the Romney team didn’t consider this problem, but perhaps they thought the fallout would be negligible.
Watch the video below.
[Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images]