Congressional Republicans lined up to denounce on principle President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill — a wasteful big-government giveaway, they said. No GOP House member voted for the bill and only three Senate Republicans.
Now the Republicans are lining up again. Only this time it’s to try to get a piece of some of that wasteful spending.
The Associated Press notes that stimulus critics Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Republican senators from Georgia, have asked that $50 million be steered to a constituent’s bioenergy project.
GOP Rep. Mary Fallin — "Big Brother spending" — is asking for $8.4 million to fix up two Oklahoma National Guard facilities. Rep. Brett Guthrie — "staggering" cost of the stimulus — is asking that stimulus money be used to renovate a military hospital at Fort Knox in his Kentucky district. The AP reports that Rep. Bill Young of Florida has links on his congressional Web site urging constituents to cash in on the stimulus.
Said the AP: "Trashing the stimulus and also welcoming the money is a sore point for Democrats who say the GOP can’t have it both ways." Yes, it can. As the late Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen used to say, "Sometimes a man must rise above principle."