Last week, Republican Senator and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ) had this to say about the stimulus:
It’s not a surprise that a recent Rasmussen poll found that 45 percent of Americans want to cancel the rest of the stimulus spending. I agree.
Sen. Kyl then repeated his desire to cancel the stimulus on this past weekend’s edition of Meet The Press.
Afterwards, the White House took him up on his offer:
No fewer than four Cabinet secretaries wrote to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer — also a Republican — to ask her if she agreed with Kyl that it was time to turn off the state’s stimulus spigot. “If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Sen. Kyl suggests, please let me know,” wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. For good measure, he attached a three-page addendum listing each of the Arizona projects paid for by the $521 million the state is getting.
More after the fold…
Of course, Gov. Brewer isn’t an idiot–she declined the White Houses’ offer and opted to keep Arizona’s share of the stimulus funds:
“The governor is hopeful that these federal Cabinet officials are not threatening to deny Arizona citizens the portion of federal stimulus funds to which they are entitled,” her spokesman said in a statement.
What was Sen. Kyl’s response to this embarrassing incident? Whining:
It’s unfortunate that President Obama and his administration seem unwilling to debate the merits of the stimulus bill and acknowledge its shortcomings. Instead, they have resorted to coordinated political attacks with the Democratic National Committee and the politicization of departments of government by using cabinet secretaries to issue thinly veiled threats to the Governor and the people of Arizona.
First, someone should tell Sen. Kyl that saying we should “cancel” the stimulus isn’t “debating the merits of the stimulus bill.”
Second, let’s get this straight–Sen. Kyl says the government should “cancel” the stimulus. In response, the White House offers to cancel those funds allotted to Kyl’s state. Sen. Kyl then turns around and calls those offers “thinly veiled threats to the Governor and the people of Arizona,” even though the White House was offering to do exactly what he asked for.
Look, it’s obvious that Republicans have no problem accepting sweet, stimulative, job-creating federal dollars hand-over-fist for their districts and their states. They know the stimulus isn’t going to be “cancelled,” so they can have their cake and eat it too–Republican districts can benefit from the positive effects of the stimulus funds and GOP elected officials can appease their right-wing base by going out and demagoging against those same funds.
Of course, none of this helps revive the GOP’s credibility any…