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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ryan Says Requesting Stimulus Funds Was a Mistake


Representative Paul D. Ryan said on Thursday it was a mistake to have requested funds in 2009 from the federal stimulus bill after voting against it.

Mr. Ryan earlier denied asking for money from the $787 billion stimulus on behalf of companies in his Wisconsin district, contradicting a report by The Boston Globe on Tuesday that he wrote to the federal Energy Department requesting funds for two companies to develop so-called green jobs.

“No, I never asked for stimulus,'' Mr. Ryan said in an interview with WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, which was broadcast Thursday. Mr. Ryan, along with Mitt Romney, who picked him as his running mate last week, have vociferously denounced the stimulus as an example of President Obama's failure to restore the economy. The Congressional Budget Office said the stimulus increased employment by 1.3 million to 3.3 million people.

Mr. Ryan said in the televisi on interview that he did not recall writing the letters. Later, his office issued a statement that he had since checked into the letters. “They were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled,'' he said in the statement. “This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier. 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.''

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: August 17, 2012

An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the television station that interviewed Paul D. Ryan. It is WCPO, not WCOP.