Wallace let Boehner falsely claim no stimulus contracts awarded in Ohio

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Chris Wallace did not challenge John Boehner's false claim that stimulus contracts have not yet been awarded in Ohio. In fact, the Ohio Department of Transportation has awarded more than $83.9 million in contracts under the recovery act.

During the July 5 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace let stand House Minority Leader John Boehner's false claim that "[i]n Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago," as part of the economic recovery package, "there hasn't been a contract let, to my knowledge. And the fact is is that I don't believe it will create jobs." In fact, in a June 15 update on the state's stimulus spending, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) stated, "Combined with the contracts awarded so far using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ODOT has awarded more than $83.9 million in contracts for work on 52 projects -- a combination of interstate, local roadway and bridge modernization projects." The department's statement continued:

As contracts are awarded, construction companies begin to mobilize workers for these jobs. Jobs are also being created and retained by firms that provide materials and equipment used in highway construction, and those jobs supported by consumer expenditures resulting from wages to 'construction oriented' and 'supporting industries' employment.

A June 8 Associated Press article reported: "President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic spending package reached Ohio's roads Monday when construction crews began work on a highway project in Cleveland. The $1.8 million project will widen a ramp from Interstate 490 to Interstate 77, and other stimulus projects are scheduled to begin in weeks."

During the Fox News Sunday discussion of the economic recovery act and the current unemployment rate, Wallace stated, "Democrats say that unemployment would be a lot higher without the stimulus package." Boehner responded:

BOEHNER: Listen, we argued early in the year when this bill was being debated that the way to help the economy grow is to help small businesses and American families keep more of what they earn, because at the end of the day, they're the ones who can get the economy going again.

This was supposed to be about jobs, jobs, and jobs. And the fact is it turned into nothing more than spending, spending, and more spending on a lot of big government bureaucracy. In Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago -- there hasn't been a contract let, to my knowledge. And the fact is is that I don't believe it will create jobs. The president said earlier this year we're not going to see unemployment above 8 percent if we pass this bill. And the fact is, we have. And, Steny, the real question is, where are the jobs?

At no point during the discussion did Wallace point out that, as of June 15, Ohio had awarded $83.9 million in contracts under the recovery package.

From the July 5 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: Back when the Obama team was pushing its stimulus plan, it said that it would keep unemployment below 8 percent. This week we all learned it's now 9.5 percent, and the Republicans have put out a video about a bloodhound searching for stimulus jobs. Let's watch.

NARRATOR [video clip]: Finally, the dogs track down something in North Carolina. They used stimulus money to hire one new state worker. His job? Apply for more stimulus funds from the taxpayers by the way of the federal government.

WALLACE: Congressman Hoyer, can you honestly say you're satisfied with the stimulus?

REP. STENY HOYER (House majority leader): I don't think anybody can honestly say that we're satisfied with the results so far of the stimulus, but we believe the stimulus was absolutely essential. Mark Zandi, as you know, who was one of McCain's economic advisers, says it's going to create 2 million jobs by the end of next year. And --

WALLACE: But why hasn't it done more faster?

HOYER: Well, we're disappointed that it hasn't done more faster. John and I were talking earlier about getting money out more quickly. We need to do that. We're disappointed, but after all, the ad is being run by a crowd that created about 4,000 jobs per month -- the worst job creation performance in 75 years -- and lost 2 million jobs the three months before the Obama administration came in.

So, they haven't had such a hot track record. We're disappointed that we inherited such a tanking economy, but we're trying to do everything we can to get it moving again.

WALLACE: I think, Congressman Boehner, he's talking about you as he says that. President Obama defended the stimulus this week. Let's take a look.

OBAMA [video clip]: The recovery act was designed to make sure that local school districts didn't lay off teachers and firefighters and police officers, and it's done its job.

WALLACE: Congressman Boehner, Democrats say that unemployment would be a lot higher without the stimulus package.

BOEHNER: Listen, we argued early in the year when this bill was being debated that the way to help the economy grow is to help small businesses and American families keep more of what they earn, because at the end of the day, they're the ones who can get the economy going again.

This was supposed to be about jobs, jobs, and jobs. And the fact is it turned into nothing more than spending, spending, and more spending on a lot of big government bureaucracy. In Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago -- there hasn't been a contract let, to my knowledge. And the fact is is that I don't believe it will create jobs. The president said earlier this year we're not going to see unemployment above 8 percent if we pass this bill. And the fact is, we have. And, Steny, the real question is, where are the jobs?

You can't spend $800 billion of taxpayer money and not create jobs when you say that's what the goal was. We haven't seen the jobs yet.

HOYER: We have obviously invested in health care. We have invested in education. I think the president is absolutely right. We would have lost more jobs but for this investment, and economists agree with us. As a matter of fact, a lot of economists on John's side of the aisle agreed with the stimulus package.

BOEHNER: No, no, no. They agreed --

HOYER: John -- John, let me just finish --

BOEHNER: They agreed that we needed a stimulus bill.

HOYER: Let me just finish. John's message is the same message we heard in 2001 -- the same message that supported an economic policy that led us to the worst economic times that we've had.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, let's look forward, not backward.

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Network/Outlet
FOX Broadcasting Company
Person
Chris Wallace
Show/Publication
FOX News Sunday
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