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Republicans Appoint Themselves to Oversee Stimulus Spending

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) Thursday afternoon announced the formation of a commission of Republican Senators to monitor the expenditure of funds from President Barack Obama’s $790 billion economic stimulus bill, which was signed into law last month.

Spearheading the effort along with the Tennessee Republican are Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (S.D.) and Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio).

The three GOP Senators told reporters that while they opposed the stimulus bill, they have a responsibility to ensure that its funds are spent wisely and have as large an impact as possible on job creation.

Earlier Thursday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called on the Government Accounting Office to oversee the spending of the stimulus funds.

“While most of us did not support spending $1 trillion of taxpayer money because we didn’t think it was targeted, timely or temporary … We absolutely intend to spend our time over the next few years to make sure it’s spent as wisely as possible to help the American taxpayer,— Alexander said.

Alexander said Senate Republicans would confer with their counterparts in the House regarding what their audit turns up. Voinovich said he would work with Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, as part of his effort to ensure that stimulus funds create jobs — particularly in his home state of Ohio.

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