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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

  • Democrats are moving America forward while Congressional Republicans admit they want to take us back to the “exact same” failed policies that put the special interests ahead of the Middle Class. 
  • The Congressional Republican agenda favors shipping good-paying American jobs overseas, handing Social Security to Wall Street and Medicare to the insurance companies.  That agenda is being secretly funded and promoted by shadowy front groups and corporate special interests. 

Today, USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager issued a report on the impact of loan and grant funds provided to the agency through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on rural residents. The report estimated that more than 300,000 jobs have been created or saved with the funds.

“With Rural Development's loans, grants, and loan-grant combination financing for new and existing programs, we have leveraged our Recovery Act funds to ensure the greatest bang for the taxpayer's buck, allowing our agency to make unprecedented and lasting investments in rural America,” said Tonsager. “I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last two years towards building livable, innovative, and sustainable rural communities.” [USDA, 10/20/10]

WUSF 89.7-FM (Florida) - GOP Congressmen Criticize Stimulus, Ask for Money

[MEMBERS MENTIONED: R- Gus Bilirakis (FL-9): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Connie Mack (FL-14): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21): Voted NO on Recovery Act, and R-Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25): Voted NO on Recovery Act]

On the same morning in February 2009 that President Barack Obama promoted the federal economic stimulus plan in Fort Myers, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, a Republican from Lee County, appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to criticize that same legislation.

In a letter to Obama that was read on the cable news channel, Mack described the bill as being full of “earmarks, pork-driven projects and liberal-spending programs.”

But seven months later, Mack wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking for $29 million in stimulus funds to improve railroad infrastructure in his district.

In late January 2009, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, told a Tampa Bay area cable news channel that the stimulus bill was “a lot of pork,” but in September of that year, he asked for a piece -- $16 million in highway funds to widen Tampa's Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in his district.

Three Miami Republicans -- U.S. Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- criticized the scope of the stimulus package, but they banded together in September 2009 by signing a letter that requested $106 million in stimulus funds for a project to improve Miami's NW 25th Street Viaduct. [10/18/10]

San Diego Union Tribune (California) - Stimulus opponents still sought grants

[MEMBERS MENTIONED: R-Tom McClintock (CA-4): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Kevin McCarthy (CA-22): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Jerry Lewis (CA-41): Voted NO on Recovery Act, R-Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46): Voted NO on Recovery Act, and R-Brian Bilbray (CA-50): Voted NO on Recovery Act]

They include Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad. He opposed the stimulus, writing in an opinion piece in The San Diego Union-Tribune that he prefers tax cuts and clean energy policies as “real reforms that will get our economy moving again.”

Still, he sought stimulus money in September 2009 for a Highway 101 improvement project, calling it “an economic investment in the future of Solana Beach.”

Some of the state's most outspoken stimulus critics - including Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher - also filed letters backing various transportation and telecommunications projects, at times invoking their potential to create jobs while publicly arguing that the stimulus would fail to create jobs.

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, opposed the stimulus as the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Then last October, he wrote a letter in support of $365 million in so-called TIGER grants for a variety of projects that would improve shipping capacity and upgrade rail lines in Southern California. [10/18/10]

Summit Daily News (Colorado) - Summit County shows off its new fleet maintenance facility

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Jared Polis (CO-2)]

County officials opened the doors to the newly completed $14 million Fleet Maintenance Facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon at the County Commons in Frisco.

The county received $9.8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help finance the 31,000 square foot building.

Construction started in August of 2009 and created 121 jobs over the course of construction.

“This (facility) will really help Summit County serve 1.75 million riders,” said U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who attended Monday's ribbon cutting ceremony. “(The Summit Stage is) used by tourists critical to our economy from the retail sector to the construction sector and, of course, by residents and families living in the area. I could not be more excited.” [10/19/10]

The Carmi Times (Illinois) - State announces opening of east segment on Illinois 13

Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig was joined Monday by state Sen. Gary Forby, state Rep. Brandon Phelps and other dignitaries to announce the opening of the two-lane connector to Illinois 13 on the east side of Harrisburg.

This segment is part of a larger project to connect the relocation of Illinois 13 through Harrisburg to the existing alignment on the east and west ends. The entire project is expected to create 183 jobs.

The estimated cost of the entire project is $14.2 million. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). [10/18/10]

The Business Journal (Wisconsin) - Six firms split $6.85M in energy awards

The state of Wisconsin has awarded $6.85 million in financial aid for business development projects to six companies in northeast Wisconsin…

The awards consist of loans made through the State Energy Program, a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In all, the companies commit to adding a total of 83 new jobs. [10/19/10]

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