ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:
With Republicans blasting Democrats over the stimulus measure in the run-up to Election Day, the Center for Public Integrity this week reported that several prominent Republicans – including Rep. Pete Sessions, the head of Republicans’ House campaign efforts – asked the Obama administration to approve stimulus funds for favored projects.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Sessions, R-Texas, made no apologies for seeking funds for what he described as a “shovel-ready” project in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton. He said, though, that he hadn’t followed up to find out if the money was ultimately approved.
Asking for stimulus dollars after voting against the stimulus was “very appropriate,” Sessions said, adding that to suggest that you could only ask for funds if you voted for the bill would be akin to “bribery.”
“After I voted, as Republicans did, against the stimulus, we believe it was very appropriate. Otherwise it would be bribery, if you have to only receive money if you voted for a bill,” Sessions said.
“That would be bribery. In fact, I did sign the letter. I have no clue whether the money was given. I was told that it was rejected. I cannot tell you on the basis that it was rejected.”
Sessions then ramped up his criticism of the stimulus, saying not only did it not create jobs, but that it actually contributed to job loss.
“Let me just say this: The stimulus was excessive spending that did not meet the intended targets or consequences and was the wrong thing to do and has created not only unemployment, but the big circumstance with the debt that we’re dealing with.”