Paul Ryan has tried a variety of ways of explaining away (or flatly denying) his multiple requests for funding for his district from the stimulus he voted against and vocally opposed. At Thursday night's debate, he had to decide which of them to go with in the face of Vice President Joe Biden's laughter, and ended up saying "we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants; it's what we do. We do that for all constituents who are applying for grants."

All constituents? Really? Anyone who lives in Paul Ryan's district can get their congressman to sign a letter to the government asking for millions in grant money for whatever it is they're working on? I could move to his district and open a business that was an abortion clinic by day, gay sex club by night and Ryan would sign a letter seeking federal funding for me? You wouldn't think that would fall under routine constituent services, but just as Ryan is anti-gay and anti-abortion, he was anti-stimulus, yet he's claiming his letters asking for stimulus funding were routine. But it's true Ryan has long pushed for his constituents to get pieces of funding he vocally opposed and would have slashed in his budget, and the AP's Jack Gillum draws a line between the ordinary constituent requests and times when Ryan went further.

"Much of Ryan's correspondence is similar to other lawmakers performing constituent duties," Gillum writes:

But in other correspondence, Ryan explicitly supports programs and encourages federal agencies to take actions. He supported in his congressional letters some Wisconsin farms' share of an $11.8 million loan guarantee, but later criticized other loan guarantees, such as the $535 million loan that went to now-defunct solar panel maker Solyndra. He asked transportation officials for a grant for green technology and alternative fuels, although his proposed budget as House budget chairman called loans for electric car development "corporate welfare."

He's also supported federal money to help a Kenosha, Wis., community center cover health care costs of low-income families under Obama's health care reform law — the very program he and Romney say they will repeal if they win the White House.

As Joe Biden put it, "[laughter] I love that, I love that. This is such a bad program and he writes me a letter saying—writes the Department of Energy a letter saying 'the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs.' His words!"

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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