REPUBLICANS ENDORSE SOME OF THE STIMULUS…. On Friday, McClatchy ran an interesting item, noting some House Republicans who were bragging about expenditures in the economic stimulus package, without noting their opposition to it.
It’s apparently a pretty common phenomenon right now. On the one hand, GOP lawmakers are thrilled with themselves for their unanimous rejection of the recovery bill. On the other, these same Republicans would really like the voters back home to credit them for the good stuff in the bill.
Even though their party almost completely opposed the massive economic stimulus package, some Republicans are racing to embrace funding in the measure even as the national party sticks to their strategy of slamming Democrats who voted for the bill.
Now that the massive $787 billion package has passed the House without a single Republican vote and cleared the Senate with just three centrist Republicans in favor, a number of GOP members of Congress have seemingly changed their tunes and are now touting money that will flow into their districts.
It initially appeared that we were only looking at a handful of GOP lawmakers who were engaged in this stunt. But in the five days since the bill passed both chambers, it’s become increasingly common. The Hill noted some of the House members bragging about the bill they opposed, and Ali Frick and the DCCC highlighted several others.
To be fair, I understand the Republican argument, and it’s not completely unreasonable. They disapprove of the spending measures in the legislation overall, but they proudly support the money headed for their districts. If they could have voted for just those expenditures, they would have done so. But since it was a yes-or-no proposition on the whole package, they felt compelled to reject it. That’s fine; it’s what the opposition party is expected to do.
But the result nevertheless leaves Republicans in a very awkward spot — they’re bragging about the measures in a bill they opposed. They’re effectively telling their constituents, “Look at all the great stuff in this bill I just voted against!”
It’s not complicated — lawmakers shouldn’t take credit for legislation they reject.