FACT CHECK: Ryan Requested Stimulus Funds for His District

While Congressman Ryan attacked the Recovery Act tonight, he apparently forgot to check his own record. As Congressman, he understood that the Recovery Act was helping to create jobs and sent letters to federal agencies asking for Recovery Act dollars to help create jobs in his district.

ROMNEY CALLED FOR CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT TO “MOVE QUICKLY” ON THEIR STIMULUS PLAN

JANUARY 2009: Romney Said Obama Should “Move Quickly” On The Proposed $750 Billion Stimulus Package Because We Are In “Unusual Times” And “A Stimulus Program Is Needed.” “BLITZER: He’s talking about a $750 billion economic stimulus package. He wants it to be passed as soon as possible. It’s unclear if whether it can be passed before he’s inaugurated on January 20th. What do you think about this proposal? ROMNEY: Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they’ll be doing, and that’s net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that’s one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed. I’d move quickly. These are unusual times. But it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We’ll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies.” [CNN, Late Edition, 1/4/09]

ROMNEY PRAISED THE PRESIDENT’S STIMULUS PLAN SAYING IT WAS “ENCOURAGING” AND “WILL ACCELERATE THE TIMING OF THE START OF THE RECOVERY”

JANUARY 16, 2009: Romney Praised Obama’s Proposed Stimulus As “Encouraging” For Having A “Healthy Dose Of Tax Reductions.” Romney said, “Well, Mika, I don't think I'm going to top what we heard from Leader Boehner, but I can tell you that, in my view, the president's willingness, his rhetoric to say, look, he's going to reach across the aisle, he wants to seek the input from members of our party -- that's a very encouraging sign. The president's plan for economic recovery, including a stimulus bill which includes a very healthy dose of tax reductions, is something which I think showed a willingness to actually listen to some of his own economic advisers that have pointed out in their research that tax reductions have a bigger economic stimulus impact than spending money on infrastructure does. That’s encouraging.” [Morning Joe, 1/16/09]

Romney: “The ‘All-Democrat’ Stimulus That Was Passed In Early 2009 Will Accelerate The Timing Of The Start Of The Recovery.” Romney: “The ‘all-democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery, but not as much as it could have had it included genuine tax- and job-generating incentives.” [Romney, No Apology: The Case For American Greatness, 158]

RYAN WROTE AT LEAST FOUR LETTERS ASKING FOR MILLIONS IN STIMULUS

Associated Press: “Ryan Himself Asked For Stimulus Funds,” Including Over $20 Million For The Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp.” ‘RYAN: "The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.’ THE FACTS: Ryan himself asked for stimulus funds shortly after Congress approved the $800 billion plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ryan's pleas to federal agencies included letters to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis seeking stimulus grant money for two Wisconsin energy conservation companies. One of them, the nonprofit Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., received $20.3 million from the Energy Department to help homes and businesses improve energy efficiency, according to federal records. That company, he said in his letter, would build ‘sustainable demand for green jobs.’ Another eventual recipient, the Energy Center of Wisconsin, received about $365,000.” [Associated Press, 8/30/12]

2009: The Same Year He “Was Railing Against The $787 Billion Stimulus Package” Ryan “Wrote At Least Four Letters To Obama’s Secretary Of Energy Asking That Millions Of Dollars From The Program Be Granted To A Pair Of Wisconsin Conservation Groups.”  “In 2009, as Rep. Paul D. Ryan was railing against President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package as a ‘wasteful spending spree,’ he wrote at least four letters to Obama’s secretary of energy asking that millions of dollars from the program be granted to a pair of Wisconsin conservation groups, according to documents obtained by the Globe. The advocacy appeared to pay off; both groups were awarded the economic recovery funds—one receiving a $20 million grant to help thousands of local businesses and homes improve their energy efficiency, agency documents show.” [Boston Globe, 8/14/12]

Asking For Stimulus Funds From The Department Of Energy, Ryan Claimed The Project In Question Could “Create Or Retain Approximately 7,600 New Jobs Over The 3 Year Grant Period And The Subsequent 3 Years.” [Ryan Letter to the U.S. Department of Energy, 12/18/09]

  • CNN: In One Of The Stimulus Request Letters, Ryan Wrote That The Project “Will Stimulate The Local And Area Economy By Creating New Jobs.” SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: “In 2009, Congressman Ryan wrote to the Departments of Energy and Labor seeking stimulus money for a pair of local green energy companies. One ended up with more than $20 million. And Congressman Ryan, who you will remember sounded so skeptical that stimulus would create any jobs, he writes that the company in question believes it will -- quote – ‘create or retain approximately 7,600 new jobs over the three-year grant period’ and -- quote – ‘I was pleased that the primary objectives of the project will stimulate the local and area economy by creating new jobs,’ and at the bottom of each letter, ‘Sincerely, Paul Ryan.’” [CNN, 8/17/12]