Parroting GOP talking points, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed $4.19 billion of President Barack Obama's economic recovery package "is going to ACORN." In fact, the bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
During the January 27 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that "in the Obama stimulus package, $4.19 billion is going to ACORN [Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now]. Obama's community organizing -- you -- would somebody tell me what the stimulus is in that?" Limbaugh continued: "Oh, it's not called 'ACORN,' it's called 'neighborhood stabilization programs.' Now, would somebody explain to me what in the name of Sam Hill ... $4.19 billion to a voter-fraud organization has to do with stimulus?"
Limbaugh's ACORN attack echoes material released by House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) office. A January 26 "fast facts" release claimed of the stimulus bill: "The legislation could open billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which has been accused of voter fraud, is reportedly under federal investigation; and played a key role in the housing meltdown." A January 23 release to which the January 26 document links stated that "the Democrats' bill makes groups like ACORN eligible for a $4.19 billion pot of money for 'neighborhood stabilization activities.' " The attack echoes the false smear propagated by several media figures in 2008 that Democrats tried to create a "slush fund" for ACORN in the 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
Limbaugh's claim that pursuant to the economic recovery plan, $4.19 billion "is going to ACORN" is false. The false claim is based on a misrepresentation of a provision that would appropriate $4,190,000,000 "for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008." The provision requires that money to be distributed through competitive processes.
Media Matters previously noted that a January 27 San Francisco Chronicle article reported the false claim that ACORN would receive $4.19 billion in the economic recovery bill. The Chronicle said that "Americans for Limited Government is pressuring moderate Democrats to vote against the stimulus bill, listing $4.19 billion that it said would go to the liberal housing activist group ACORN."
From the January 27 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: What do I think about this stimulus? It's like my brilliant proposal yesterday. Why do we have to have this money washed by the money launders in Washington? Why don't they just let them keep -- people who are producing it keep it and stimulate the economy themselves? Why does it have to go to Washington for these bigwigs to sit around and ponder who's going to get it? Do you know that in the Obama stimulus package, $4.19 billion is going to ACORN? Obama's community organizing -- you -- would somebody tell me what the stimulus is in that?
Oh, it's not called "ACORN," it's called "neighborhood stabilization programs." Now, would somebody explain to me what in the name of Sam Hill -- and there was a Sam Hill, I looked it up -- would somebody explain to me what in the name of Sam Hill $4.19 billion to a voter-fraud organization has to do with stimulus? I'll tell you what's going on here. We, ladies and gentlemen, we are funding Obama and the Democrat [sic] Party's army on the street. We are funding the forces of the Democrat Party's re-election.
LIMBAUGH: This is just absurd. And none of it -- all -- if you look at the details of what's in this porkulous plan -- very little of it is stimulating. It's just pork. It's the Democrats paying back unions and the people that got them elected. Four-point-one-nine billion for "neighborhood stabilization": that means voter fraud. That's ACORN. We are funding Obama's army with a so-called stimulus plan.