Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ) questions the effectiveness of Barack Obama’s Stimulus Package and is rewarded by threats to the state of Arizona.
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The White House on Tuesday released letters from four cabinet secretaries to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, citing Kyl’s comments and outlining transportation, housing, Indian education and other projects in his home state they said would be eliminated if the senator has his way.
Kyl, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, has said the stimulus spending hasn’t succeeded in boosting the economy and that it’s adding to the deficit. He’s suggested on his Senate Web site and in interviews that spending not already allocated be halted.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, one of two Republicans in Obama’s cabinet, made no attempt to conceal his needling.
Kyl “publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren’t presently under way,” LaHood wrote Brewer. “If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.”
LaHood noted in the letter that at least $520.9 million of the $48 billion for transportation projects under the economic recovery act are intended for Arizona projects, including transit projects in Phoenix.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Arizona would lose $45 million for 500 single-family housing loans if projects not already under way were canceled. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the state would forfeit $73 million his department oversees, including $22 million for homeless programs.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a Westerner who formerly served with Kyl in the Senate, didn’t mention the Arizonan by name in his letter, but referred to “some key Republican leaders in Congress.” He said the state would lose $60 million for Bureau of Indian Education schools, among other money.
“That’s a nice state you have there, Kyl. Shame if anything should happen to it.”
Thanks to Momma at Ace of Spades.