Rep. John Lewis’ 5th District Gets $5.9 BILLION in Stimulus Dollars Says AJC
Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a correction to a story published on Monday October 19, 2009. The front-page story, entitled, "Opponents don't turn down cash: Lawmakers opposed to plan say it's their duty to look out for districts," included a chart which listed the amount of stimulus dollars granted to each congressional district in Georgia. They listed the 5th and the 4th Districts, represented by Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson respectively, among the lowest dollars granted any district. And the article said, "In fact, combined spending for Georgia's seven GOP congressional districts totals $502.8 million, compared with $319.8 million for the state's six Democratic districts."
After discussions with the AJC and White House representatives, it was discovered that this information is grossly inaccurate. And the AJC issued a correction today on A2 of the paper. It says:
A chart accompanied a front-page article Monday about federal stimulus spending included some incorrect figures. Rep. John Lewis' congressional district has received $5.9 billion in such funding. And Rep. Hank Johnson's congressional district has received $82 million. In all, Georgia's six Democratic congressional districts have received $6.3 billion of the $6.8 billion. In federal contracts, grants and loans that have been approved for the states so far. Federal officials say those numbers could change at the end of this month, when they publicly report more details on where the money is going.
Discussions with White House officials and those in the Vice President's office responsible for tracking recovery act dollars indicated that premature attempts have been made to analyze stimulus spending before all of the reports are in. The executive branch is checking and verifying all reports on spending and is expected to release a comprehensive description by October 30th of how recovery act monies were spent and how many jobs have been and will be created using that funding. Reports made before that time reflect analysis of incomplete data.
"I am very glad," said Rep. John Lewis, "that the AJC corrected this error. It is important that the people of the 5th District know that I have been making their voices heard, even though times are very hard. The Recovery Act represented a powerful opportunity to try to save jobs, help create new jobs and jumpstart the economy in metro Atlanta. I, as well as other members of the Democratic delegation, wanted to take advantage of every chance we had to help the people of Georgia weather this difficult time. In this instance our work paid some big dividends, and it is very important that our constituents know that. We are not finished yet. There are still many more problems to address, including rising unemployment, but this was a good first effort to try to stop the slide into a depression."
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