On Tuesday, the Boston Globe and Associated Pressreported on documents showing that GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had secured more than $20 million in stimulus funds for a local energy efficiency organization.
According to the reports, the documents showed that Ryan also brought in $5.4 million for local bus services. His requests came at the same time he was publicly calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.”
However, in an interview with a local Ohio television news station, Ryan claimed he never secured funding through the program, saying “I never asked for stimulus.”
Ryan’s statement directly counters the evidence of four letters obtained by the AP which the congressman wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, praising energy programs supported by the stimulus and requesting funds for initiatives in his district.
Ryan’s private praise for Department of Energy programs and his written requests for stimulus funds contradict not only his public criticism of the 2009 stimulus bill, but also many of the budget priorities he has laid out, including cuts to investments in green technologies.
Raising further questions about the vice presidential candidate’s claim today that he never sought stimulus money, Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck referred AP to previous explanations by the congressman’s office that by requesting funds Ryan was simply “providing a legitimate constituent service.”
Ryan is one of dozens of Congressional Republicans who have actively lobbied the government for loan guarantees and grants for clean energy companies in their districts — even while many of them railed on the stimulus program in the press.
Ryan has issued a statement explaining why he falsely claimed he never requested Recovery funds:
“After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled. This is why I didn’t recall the letters earlier,” he continued. “But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that. Regardless, it’s clear that the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the President is asking to do it all over again.”