Debunk GOP claims that it’s not working
Via the HChron, Texas Dems say state benefiting from stimulus.
Texas Democratic lawmakers Thursday defended President Barack Obama’s stimulus package against criticism from Republican leaders, saying Texas is making economic progress with the help of recovery funds.
Texas state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said that without the $16.5 billion in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, steep cuts would have been made to the state’s budget.
“We would have been in severe trouble if we had not had it,” Van de Putte told reporters in a Democratic National Committee-sponsored conference call.
Van de Putte said the stimulus money has led to the creation of about 69,000 transportation jobs, an $800 pay raise for public school teachers and accounts for $1.7 billion in other education funds.
State Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, said the state did not have to reduce Medicaid spending as it did in 2003 when the Legislature cut the program.
The lawmakers criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, for his rejection of $555 million in stimulus spending for unemployment insurance.
“He’s just lost touch with reality,” Dunnam said.
And Perry has “mastered the art of hypocrisy,” Dunnam added, because he took $12 billion to help balance the state budget.
“I think what the governor did was a Texas two-face: Say one thing and do another,” Van de Putte said.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has also criticized the president’s stimulus package.
In a Senate floor speech Wednesday, Cornyn called it a “spending spree” that has failed to produce results.
Despite $1 trillion in spending, Cornyn said unemployment in Texas has increased from 6.5 percent in February to 7.5 percent in June.
The national unemployment is 9.5 percent, according to the Department of Labor.
When George W. Bush was president, Van de Putte said, Cornyn “didn’t have any problems bailing out corporations.”
No he did not, and Perry has definitely lost touche with reality. Great to see Van de Putte and Dunnam clearing this up.