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Obey Rails on Administration’s Stimulus Reporting

By Alyson Klein — November 17, 2009 1 min read

Rep. David R. Obey, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a major architect of the stimulus law, ranted and raved yesterday in this statement about inaccurate reporting on Recovery.gov.

“Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it,” Obey said. “Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now.”

Obey may have been thinking about reports like this recent ABC news account, which found that the Obama administration scaled back their estimate - by 60,000 - of how many jobs were created under the stimulus because apparently some of the numbers weren’t realistic.

Media reports like that are likely to make it that much tougher to show that the stimulus is accomplishing its goals, including in the area of education redesign. And they could also hurt Democrats in swing districts who voted in favor of the stimulus, which got virtually no Republican support. That may be why Obey, who is often considered a partisan Democrat, used such harsh rhetoric in taking the Obama administration to task.