GOP: Will Charlie Melancon Support Second “Stimulus” After First Spending Bill Failed To Create Louisiana Jobs?

September 10, 2010

WASHINGTON – As his fellow Democrat colleagues denounce President Barack Obama’s proposal to enact another costly taxpayer-funded $50 billion “stimulus” bill after the first $787 billion debacle failed, U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA) has not told his constituents whether he supports this new spending measure.

Several reports have noted the Democrats’ divisions on the new spending proposals:

* Hotline OnCall reports: “In a sign that Democrats are not on-board with what was supposed to be a major cornerstone of their platform this fall, an increasing number of Democratic incumbents and candidates are criticizing Pres. Obama’s economic plan.”

* Reuters writes: “Former White House budget director Peter Orszag added to Obama’s problem when he caught the White House by surprise with a New York Times editorial this week calling for a two-year freeze on current tax rates… Orszag’s comments reflect the
gap between Obama and some congressional Democrats.”

* And the Associated Press notes: “Even if [President Obama] can get the plan through Congress, at a time when lawmakers and voters are worried about federal deficits” the new spending bill “wouldn’t create jobs right away.”

Meanwhile, Melancon’s fellow Democrat Senate hopefuls U.S. Representatives Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) readily admitted that the bill was a political ploy and a “gimmick” less than 60 days from the midterm elections.

“Louisiana voters deserve to know: Will Charlie Melancon finally stand up to his party’s out-of-control spending agenda and reject this second ‘stimulus?’ Or will Melancon continue to put his partisan interests in Washington ahead of his constituents at home and rubberstamp yet another costly taxpayer-funded spending bill after the first one failed to create much-needed jobs?” asked National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “Charlie Melancon’s Democrat colleagues have already admitted this bill is a poll-driven ‘gimmick,’ so when will he stand up and finally say ‘enough is enough?’”

Notably, while the nation’s unemployment rate has risen to 9.6 percent, stimulus funds were listed as going to Louisiana Congressional districts that do not exist, and Melancon’s failed bill managed to pay for a number of wasteful non-job related projects, including:

* $144,541 to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine;
* $2 million to study exotic ants;
* Almost half-a-million to provide quitting smokers with a smartphone;
* $554,000 to replace windows at a closed visitor center;
* $760,000 for a computerized choreography program;
* $357,710 to restore an abandoned furnace;
* Over $13 million for repairs at the remote Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West, Florida;
* $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequity and unfairness;
* Nearly $300,000 to provide information on interplanetary weather. (Senators Tom
Coburn, M.D. and John McCain, “Summertime Blues: 100 Stimulus Projects That Give
Taxpayers The Blues,” August 2010)

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