Conservatives Publicly Opposed Bill, Privately Sought Stimulus Funds

The Center for Public Integrity has issued a new report documenting dozens of members of Congress who "voted against the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," but "subsequently wrote letters requesting funds for projects in a massive, behind-the-scenes letter-writing and phone call campaign...."

Poster child for this massive hypocrisy is Texas Republican Pete Sessions, who publicly railed against the stimulus bill as a ""trillion dollar spending spree" that was "more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs," but later requested $81 million from the Department of Transportation for a project that "will create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve regional mobility and reduce pollution."

Using information obtained from federal agencies and a Freedom of Information Act request, the Center collected nearly 2,000 letters requesting stimulus bill funding, mostly from the Transportation, Energy, and Commerce departments.

Public "pork barrel" opponent, Sen. John McCain, was among those who privately sought stimulus funds after voting against the legislation. McCain wrote the Department of Transportation to request funds for the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who captured Ted Kennedy's former seat for the Republican party, claimed shortly after taking office that the stimulus bill "didn't create one new job." Some weeks later he wrote requesting stimulus funds for the Massachusetts Broadband Initiative, saying it would "help prepare our next generation of entrepreneurs and job creators."

Tea party darling, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, is currently campaigning against what she calls the "failed Pelosi trillion-dollar stimulus," despite have written numerous letters to federal agencies requesting stimulus funds, "including one to the Transportation Department for the St. Croix River Crossing Project that she argued 'would directly produce 1,407 new jobs per year while indirectly producing 1,563 a year - a total of 2,970 jobs each year after the project’s completion.'"

Read the full reports.