In the heat of a re-election campaign, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)’s press office issued a strong statement today condemning the 5-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Democrat-led stimulus package into law. Yet Cornyn was one of two senators — both Republicans — who were absent when the measure first went before the Senate in 2009.
“Five years later, our economy is still sluggish, Americans are dropping out of the workforce by the thousands, and the President’s latest big government experiment, Obamacare, is now on track to slash 2 million more jobs from the workforce,” wrote Cornyn about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He added: “We have reached a point where reining in the government is our only chance for a fiscally stable future, and it’s time to come together to enact sensible reforms that restrain Washington’s runaway spending.”
The stimulus legislation was passed by the Senate on Feb. 9, 2009, by a vote of 61-36-2. Cornyn’s vote would not have changed the outcome, however.
According to an article Michele Malkin on the day of the vote, Cornyn was absent from the cloture stimulus vote because he was speaking at an event in New York City. He was present the next day to vote against final passage.
Just a couple months before the Obama stimulus package, Cornyn was present to vote for the Bush Administration’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP — a multi-billion-dollar bailout of Wall Street. A year later on CNN he described that vote as being “absolute necessity or else the economy would melt down.” Cornyn later voted to end TARP.
Last week, Cornyn was one of a half-dozen Republicans to break ranks and join with Senate Democrats to stop a conservative filibuster on legislation increasing the nation’s debt limit – only to later vote against it.