McCain denies 'stimulus hypocrisy' accusation

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., denied allegations Tuesday that he publicly opposed President Obama's stimulus plan, but then went on to quietly request funds.

A report released on Monday by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan investigative reporting group, found that "scores" of leading members of Congress who strongly touted their opposition to the 2009 Recovery Act have nonetheless made requests for a portion of the $787 billion stimulus funds.

The report found that the Arizona Republican, who is one of the Senate's most dedicated opponents of earmarking, wrote to the Transportation Department in an attempt to obtain funds for Phoenix.

"They're [CPI] not telling the truth," McCain said this morning on Good Morning America. "I received a letter from constituents, and I put a cover letter on it and passed it on. I specifically said 'I am not requesting the funds.'

"That's what I do as their representative," he said.

In the text of McCain's letter to the Transportation Department, he wrote that the funds would be used "for a specific purpose that will usher into our community a much more tightly knit transit system alternative to the private automobile."

The CPI report names many vocal stimulus opponents who later sought funds, including tea party favorites Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and California Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher.

In response to the report, Rob Gaudet, the Tea Party Patriots national coordinator, said Monday that the GOP members should "not be taking this money and spending it, regardless of where it came from."

"They should fight and stop [the spending] with every fiber of their elected beings," Gaudet said.

On GMA this morning, McCain said that the tea party stance is "exactly right."

"What they're [the tea party] saying is what I've been fighting against for 20 years -- this corrupting, earmarking, pork-barrel process that goes on," he said. "I've seen the corruption myself -- and I don't take that word lightly. We've gotta stop it."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.