Paul Ryan admits he requested stimulus funds

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — After initially denying he had requested stimulus funds, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has acknowledged that his office had sought the money for his Wisconsin congressional district and took responsibility for it.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has repeatedly said that stimulus doesn’t work. But his office requested stimulus funds for his congressional district in Wisconsin, his campaign said Thursday, after at first denying that his office asked for funds.

“After having these letters called to my attention I checked into them, and they were treated as constituent service requests in the same way matters involving Social Security or Veterans Affairs are handled,” Ryan said in a statement late Thursday. “This is why I didn’t recall the letters earlier.”

Ryan said he would take responsibility for the way the letters were handled, but said “it’s clear that the Obama stimulus did nothing to stimulate the economy, and now the president is asking to do it all over again.”

The Wall Street Journal raised controversy over this issue with a 2010 story detailing how Ryan and other Republicans hustled to get money for their districts after fighting stimulus funding. Then a story this week in the Boston Globe revealed that Ryan’s congressional office wrote four letters to Energy Secretary Henry Chu on behalf of two Wisconsin conservation groups. One group received a $20 million grant from the stimulus bill to help businesses and homes become more energy efficient.

Ryan had been asked repeatedly about the difference between his rhetoric and actions, including during an interview with a Cincinnati television station earlier this week.

“I never asked for stimulus,” he told Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV. “I don’t recall — and I haven’t seen this report so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work.”

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