Despite railing against the spending in Washington, decrying the Federal stimulus package and bailouts of the auto industry, Michelle Bachmann has made sure her district has receive their share of those very same funds. Huffington Post requested records through the Freedom Of Information Act from three federal agencies and found the following (from HuffPo):
On May 20, 2009, Bachmann wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to look into an application for aid that the city of Big Lake, Minn., had made to “develop and finance the Big Lake Rail Park,” which she described as “an ambitious commercial and industrial complex which will enhance economic development and job opportunities in this rural Minnesota community.” …
On May 22, 2009, she wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking for support for the St. Cloud, Minn., Metropolitan Transit Commission’s application for federal funds to “replace twenty-three 35-foot transit buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses.”
On June 4, 2009, she wrote LaHood again seeking grant funding to extend the Northstar Corridor commuter service from Big Lake to St. Cloud.
On June 19, 2009, she made an “urgent” request to LaHood to reverse a decision by the Federal Highway Administration that undermined a project in Waite Park, Minn. The project, she noted, had already received $2.578 million in federal funding through the stimulus package and was “only awaiting the final determination” from the FHWA.
On July 2, 2009, she wrote LaHood again, pleading for money for road improvements in Waite Park. She added that she was “pleased to learn” that Minnesota’s Department of Transportation was not going to “pull the nearly $2.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding set aside for the project.”
On Sept. 15, 2009, Bachmann wrote six separate letters to LaHood asking for help funding six projects (the Northstar line among them) through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The Center for Public Integrity and MinnPost haspreviously reported on those letters.
On Oct. 5, 2009, she wrote Vilsack again, praising him for putting money into the nation’s beleaguered pork industry and encouraging him to help “stabilize prices through direct government purchasing.”
Five days later, she was chastising the concept of government spending in public, saying that the president’s efforts to stem the fallout of the recession amounted to a charade. “We hear about fantasy football games. This is fantasy economics,” Bachmann said.
Even more problematic, however, could be Bachmann’s attempts to get money and assistance from the EPA, an agency that she once said should be “renamed the job-killing organization of America.”
In February 2007, well before Obama was in office, Bachmann co-signed a letter to the EPA urging its officials to help fund technical assistance programs and rural water initiatives “in small communities across Minnesota.” The authors of the letter, which included nearly the entire Minnesota congressional delegation at the time, noted that FY 2006 funding for the National Rural Water Association had been set at $11 million.
“We need to continue these efforts in 2007,” they wrote.
In other communications with the EPA, Bachmann was far colder to agency policy, criticizing spring 2009 federal management standards for coal combustion byproducts and 2008 National Ambient Air Quality standards. But in other instances, Bachmann turned to the EPA for constituent-related problems. In a Feb. 2, 2010, letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, she asked the agency to support a $270,806 grant application (filed with the EPA’s Clean Diesel Grant Program) that would help a St. Cloud bus company replace two older motor coach vehicles.
So, while talking about how bad spending is, or how the the EPA is a “job-killing agency”, she has nonetheless made significant efforts to get money from those programs and agencies into her district.