CNN wildly underestimates Republicans

CNN WILDLY UNDERESTIMATES REPUBLICANS…. The headline on CNN’s political blog is one to remember: “A stimulus program even a Republican can love.” Sounds great, right? Republicans absolutely loathe the recovery efforts that prevented an economic catastrophe, but if there’s a measure within the stimulus that the GOP can actually love, I’m anxious to hear about it.

Here’s the story:

There’s at least one stimulus program that’s creating jobs and winning praise from both sides of the political aisle.

A little-known Recovery Act initiative is expected to put more than 200,000 unemployed people back to work in 32 states and the District of Columbia. It’s called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Fund, and it subsidizes jobs with private companies, nonprofits and government agencies. […]

While the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus program has become a popular target for GOP attacks, the subsidized jobs initiative has been adopted by Republican and Democratic governors and policy analysts alike.

So far, so good. When the American Enterprise Institute and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) agree with Democrats about part of the stimulus effort, it’s safe to assume it has some real value. Indeed, when one provision in the Recovery Act can boast it alone put more than 200,000 people back to work, it’s the kind of thing that should get bipartisan praise.

But there are two things the CNN report neglected to mention. The first is the money for the TANF Emergency Fund will run out at the end of September, and probably won’t be continued — regardless of how effective it is — because Republicans have said the deficit is more important than job creation.

The second point is that CNN’s report also neglected to mention that, in May, the House Republican leadership targeted the TANF Emergency Fund as a huge waste of money, and said the successful jobs program should be eliminated altogether. Indeed, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) created his “YouCut” gimmick, and scrapping the TANF Emergency Fund was the very first thing Republicans decided to try to cut. After looking over the entire federal budget, House GOP leaders decided this program was the best example of the kind of government spending they’re anxious to slash.

So, when CNN highlights this as “a stimulus program even a Republican can love,” it overlooks the fact that congressional Republicans don’t actually love it. On the contrary, congressional Republicans have identified one of the most successful and popular elements of the Recovery Act, and have gone to great lengths to try to eliminate it.