Cantor Urges Republicans to Attack Senate Stimulus

Posted February 3, 2009 at 2:22pm

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is circulating a new list of talking points for Republicans to use when attacking the Senate economic stimulus bill as wasteful spending.

In a Tuesday afternoon memo sent to Republican press secretaries, Cantor outlines why the Senate version of the stimulus is worse than the $819 billion plan that passed the House last week without a single GOP vote.

Cantor cites a number of “questionable spending” items in the Senate bill, including $20 million “for the removal of small-to-medium-sized fish passage barriers,” $25 million “for recreation maintenance, especially for rehabilitation of off-road vehicle routes,” and another $43 million for park and fish and wildlife trails.

According to Cantor’s memo, other wasteful spending includes $100 million to fund museums including the “so-called mob museum” in Las Vegas, $90 million to “subsidize the purchase of analog to digital TV converter boxes to ‘Public Interest Groups,’” and $400 million for STD education and prevention.

Cantor also warns what happens when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is given extra STD prevention funds — arguing that the agency previously used its budget for a transgender beauty pageant in San Francisco, a Stop AIDS Project event that taught participants how “to flirt with greater finesse,” and “Booty Call” and “Great Sex” events hosted by a group that received $698,000 in government funds.

Other GOP concerns with the Senate bill cited are a $404 million for cybersecurity and IT expenses by the State Department; $70 million for a climate-research computer; $524 million to create 388 jobs through the State Department Capital Investment Fund, which “equals $1.35 million per job created”; and $696 million for Department of Homeland Security headquarters consolidation.

Cantor, however, maintained that Republicans are still willing to work with President Barack Obama on the final bill — despite House Democratic leaders not having held “a single working meeting with Republicans to find the most effective solutions for our challenged economy,” he said.