U.S. Senator Tom Coburn released an oversight report titled “100 Stimulus Projects: A Second Opinion” that discloses 100 of the worst examples of waste in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus bill. The projects included in the report – worth $5.5 billion – range from Maine to California.
Senator Coburn said, in the accompanying press release, “The American people have a right to know how their stimulus dollars are being spent. In too many cases stimulus projects are wasting money we don’t have on things we don’t need.”
Iowa is mentioned in the report (page 22) because of its wasteful spending on vehicles for the state. The report states:
Iowa state legislators are using money freed up by federal stimulus cash to buy $11 million in new cars the State does not need. About four dozen brand new cars owned by the state are already sitting unused in a parking lot near the capitol. According to state representative Christopher Rants, “”Some of them have the stickers on them. None of them have license plates. Some of them still have the seats wrapped in plastic.”
Six times during the session House Republicans offered amendments to cut the vehicle spending from the budget to help the state meets its financial obligations. Each time those amendments were voted down on party-line votes by the majority Democrats.
Those vote can be seen here:
H-1086, 2-26-09, House Journal page 599
H-1410, 4-7-09, House Journal page 1215
H-1475, 4-8-09, House Journal page 1264
H-1477, 4-8-09, House Journal page 1284
H-1487, 4-9-09, House Journal page 1352
H-1556, 4-14-09, House Journal page 1422