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This Week In Congress: Friday, Oct. 22

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From Capitol News Connection:

Remember "flip-flopping"? That was so, like, 2004. It turns out a lot of lawmakers were for the stimulus while they were against it. Early this week, Citizens for Public Integrity released a mountain of letters. Each one signed by one or more members of Congress, asking for a piece of economic stimulus pie.

The watchdog group has spent months rounding up the letters from over a dozen agencies--and Chief Digital Officer John Solomon remembers the day just the ones to the Department of Commerce came in.

"The stack of letters is a foot tall, and I can't even see my colleague on the other side...the letters were blocking him out," Solomon says.

Plenty of those letters came from Republicans (and some Democrats as well) who make a big show of bashing the attempt to shore up the faltering economy through federal spending.

"The very argument that they make against the stimulus, which is, this is a bad law, doesn't create jobs, it's a waste of money, when they wrote a letter for their local districts saying please give me money, they would say this is going to create jobs, it's good for the economy, good for the district," Solomon says.

In one sense, it's a paper trail of hypocrisy. Among the standouts: Sen. Scott Brown, who rode a Tea Party-fueled wave of frustration to a surprise victory in the Massachusetts special election earlier this year.

"He ran and made the famous statement during the campaign: 'I don’t think a single job has been created by the stimulus,' " Solomon says. "And that became the rallying cry by which the Tea Party supported him. He wins the seat and then he writes a letter saying, 'Hey, this will really create jobs if you give a stimulus grant to my district.' "

Then there's the issue of governance. Solomon calls out Democratic leaders, who had pledged an open and transparent process for divvying up the bill.


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