Rep. Paul Ryan directly contradicted reports by the Associated Press and the Boston Globe that he lobbied for stimulus funds in 2009, while at the same time calling President Obama's stimulus package a "wasteful spending spree."
Today, Rep. Ryan told WCPO-TV in Cinncinati: "No, I never asked for stimulus" (video below).
However, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe reported on four letters that Rep. Ryan wrote to Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu, praising the stimulus and requesting stimulus funds.
Here is one of the letters obtained by the Associated Press and the Boston Globe in which Rep. Ryan Requested stimulus money:
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Dear Secretary Chu:
I am writing to express my support for the grant-application submitted by the Energy Center of Wisconsin and its partners for the Recovery Act Commercial Building Equipment Technicians, Building Operators, and Energy Commissioning Agent and Auditors (DE-FOA-0000118). Please note that the Milwaukee' Area Technical College serves as the lead applicant.
I have reviewed the partners' grant narrative, and I believe that they would make effective use of the funds they would receive from the DOE. I was pleased to learn that the applicant and its partners will develop curriculum and training for professionals responsible for ensuring the efficient operation of commercial buildings (including building equipment technicians, operators, and energy commissioning agents and auditors). The partners believe that their education materials may develop a workforce that is capable of bringing existing commercial buildings to their energy performance potential and to help ensure that new commercial buildings do not fall below their expected optimal level of performance.
I support the Energy Center of Wisconsin and its partners' grant application for the Recovery Act Building Operators and Energy Commissioning Agents and Auditors. I would appreciate it if you and the appropriate DOE officials would ensure that it is given your prompt and full consideration, consistent with all laws and regulations. Thank you for your consideration of my request.
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Member of Congress
UPDATE: In light of the letter, Paul Ryan has issued a statement:
"After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled," Ryan said in a statement. "This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier. But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that.
"Regardless, it's clear that the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the President is asking to do it all over again."