ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: Minutes after he was sworn in by Vice President Biden, newly minted Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) says the stimulus “hasn’t created one new job.”
The comments came at Brown’s first press conference as a U.S. Senator when I asked him if he is willing to work with Democrats on a jobs bill. Based on his response, that seems unlikely.
“The last stimulus bill didn’t create one new job and in some states the money that was actually released hasn’t even been used yet,” Brown said.
“It didn’t create one new job?” I asked.
“That’s correct. We lost another 85,000 jobs again, give or take last month,” he responded. “And in Massachusetts, it hasn’t created one new job and throughout the country as well. It may have retained some but it hasn’t created any new jobs. I need to see the bill.”
Brown’s comments are at odds with the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, which says the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, aka “stimulus”, saved or created 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter of 2009. The White House’s Recovery Act website, recovery.gov, says stimulus grant recipients reported creating 9,261 jobs in Massachusetts during the fourth quarter of 2009.
The Obama Administration says Brown’s got his facts wrong.
“Economists of all political points of view, including those from the non-partisan CBO, estimate that the Recovery Act has created or saved between 1.5 - 2.4 million jobs across America,” said Jay Carney, spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden, the administration’s top Recovery Act booster and watchdog.
“Unemployment is far too high, which is why the President is so focused on jobs. But it is beyond dispute that if it were not for the Recovery Act, as many as 2.4 million more Americans would be unemployed today.”
More Carney: “Anyone can go to Recovery.gov and see that MA state and local government, businesses and community organizations have already reported directly funding over 9,000 jobs in the state last year – and that’s based on a only a portion of the total $8.4 billion in Recovery funds that have already gone to MA.”
Shortly before the press conference, Brown had enjoyed a little small talk with Biden about basketball.
They did not, unfortunately, did not get a chance to discuss the stimulus.
“I had always wanted to meet him,” Brown said of Biden shortly after the swearing-in ceremony.