According to Bloomberg:
Alabama Republicans Jo Bonner and Robert Aderholt took to the U.S. House floor in July, denouncing the Obama administration’s stimulus plan for failing to boost employment. “Where are the jobs?” each of them asked.
Over the next three months, Bonner and Aderholt tried at least five times to steer stimulus-funded transportation grants to Alabama on grounds that the projects would help create thousands of jobs.
They joined more than 100 congressional Republicans and several Democrats who, after voting against the stimulus bill, wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking money from $1.5 billion the plan set aside for local road, bridge, rail and transit grants. The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year with no Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate.
Bonner said opposing the stimulus doesn’t mean he shouldn’t help Alabama projects compete for grants. “It is my role to ensure that their request is considered by the federal agency,” he said in an e-mail. . . .
Indiana Republican Steve Buyer, who last year called the stimulus bill a “sham,” wrote LaHood -- a former Republican congressman from Illinois -- to seek $80 million for a highway construction project that “is vital to the economic health of North Central Indiana” At the end of the letter Buyer wrote: “Ray, appreciate your personal attention. Steve.”
As the quoted text indicates, Bonner has floated the curious argument that opposing the stimulus and lobbying for stimulus money are not inconsistent. Even if one were to buy that assertion, it is absolutely inconsistent to argue, as Bonner does, that the stimulus will not create jobs -- but then demand money for constituents on the grounds that the stimulus will create jobs.
Bloomberg also reports that several House Democrats who voted against the stimulus are also waiting in line to get money for their districts. Rather than educate voters and take principled positions, members of Congress are trying to play both sides of the issue.