YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Rep. Paul Ryan told a Cincinnati television station in an interview airing on Thursday that he “never asked for stimulus” money made available by the Recovery Act, contradicting documents that show he advocated for Wisconsin companies that were seeking funds.
Subsequently, after reports about the contradiction emerged, Ryan said he checked his files and amended his answer. He said that while he never personally asked for funding, his staff had written in support of it.
“They were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled. This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier. But they should have been handled differently, and I take responsibility for that," he said. "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.”
The Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that Ryan wrote letters in 2009 to Energy Secretary Steven Chu supporting grant applications for Recovery Act funds. The Wall Street Journal subsequently published one of the letters.
"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 – Training Program Development for Commercial Building Technicians, Building Operators, and Energy Commissioning Agents/Auditors,” Ryan wrote in one such letter. “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.”
But Ryan told WCPO in an interview: “I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work. It brought us deeper into debt. It was about $1.1 trillion when you add the borrowing cost, it put us deeper in debt and further out of work."
Ryan similarly denied requesting stimulus money in a 2010 interview with WBZ’s Nightside with Dan Rea, The Globe reported.