Yesterday, Roy Blunt's official office announced $942,000 for homeless assistance programs in Springfield & Joplin. As outlined in the News-Leader, the grants will be used to help with programs for unhoused residents in Greene, Christian and Webster counties, and money will be distributed to five programs -- The Kitchen Inc., Salvation Army, The Housing Authority of Springfield and the local office of the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
There's just one small problem with Blunt's celebration of the grants and the News-Leader's decision to put a picture of Blunt's happy face in their story about the money: Roy Blunt voted against the stimulus funds used to fund the program, voted against the overall HUD budget in December, and voted against the Homeland Security appropriations bill in June that also covered some of the funding.
Expect Democrats to soon hammer at Blunt, as they have other congressional Republicans, for touting federal aid to his district that he'd voted against in Congress.
In Blunt's case, critics point to his release Monday in which he announced "grants totaling more than $942,009 to six local agencies that provide programs for homeless families and individuals."
Blunt praised the recipients as "strong voices for the homeless in Southwest Missouri....In national competition for these funds they make a convincing case about why these federal resources are needed and best used here in long-standing programs that help our homeless population.”
However, it appears that Blunt had voted against the stimulus bill that directed money to the program that doled out the grants.
This two-part strategy for Republican leaders is par for the course these days. They vote and demagogue against the bills that fund the programs and decry the federal spending.... and then they're happy to announce all the ways the money will help local communities, so long as they can get their names in the stories about said funds. In fact, Congressman (and fellow candidate for US Senate) Mike Castle (R-DE) displayed almost identical hypocrisy last week when he announced homeless grants after voting against the funding to make them possible.