Ignoring CBO, AP uncritically reported GOP claim that recovery bill is Dem "spending spree unlikely to jolt the economy"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

The AP uncritically reported that Sen. Mitch McConnell and "other Republicans" stated that the economic recovery bill "allows Democrats to go on a spending spree unlikely to jolt the economy." But the AP did not point out that the Congressional Budget Office "anticipates that implementation of H.R. 1 would have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years," or that CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said the bill "would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without any legislation."

In a February 1 article, the Associated Press' Douglass K. Daniel uncritically reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains "unnecessary spending," and that he and "other Republicans" stated that the bill "doesn't pump enough into the private sector through tax cuts and allows Democrats to go on a spending spree unlikely to jolt the economy." Daniel's article did not point out, as Media Matters for America has noted, that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated in its January 26 cost estimate of H.R. 1, the House version of the bill: "CBO anticipates that implementation of H.R. 1 would have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years." Further, in his January 27 written testimony before the House Committee on the Budget, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said that H.R. 1 would "provide massive fiscal stimulus that includes a combination of government spending increases and revenue reductions." Elmendorf also stated: "In CBO's judgment, H.R. 1 would provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without any legislation."

By 6:45 p.m. on February 1, Internet gossip Matt Drudge featured the AP report on his website:


From the article:

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday the massive stimulus bill backed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats could go down to defeat if it's not stripped of unnecessary spending and focused more on housing issues and tax cut.

The Senate version of the bill, which topped out at nearly $900 billion, is headed to the floor for debate. The House bill totaled about $819 billion and earned no Republican votes, even though it easily passed the Democratic-controlled House. At some point lawmakers will need to compromise on the competing versions.

McConnell and other Republicans suggested that the bill needed an overhaul because it doesn't pump enough into the private sector through tax cuts and allows Democrats to go on a spending spree unlikely to jolt the economy. The Republican leader also complained that Democrats had not been as bipartisan in writing the bill as Obama had said he wanted.

"I think it may be time ... for the president to kind of get a hold of these Democrats in the Senate and the House, who have rather significant majorities, and shake them a little bit and say, 'Look, let's do this the right way,'" McConnell said. "I can't believe that the president isn't embarrassed about the products that have been produced so far."

Posted In
Economy, Budget
Network/Outlet
The Drudge Report, Associated Press
Person
Matt Drudge
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