Issa: Oversight panel thinks White House ‘crossed the line’ in stimulus promotion

The Ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee continued to charge the Obama administration with peddling propaganda
about its economic recovery programs.

Rep. Darrell Issa
(R-Calif.) said Friday on MSNBC that administration claims of jobs saved and
created through stimulus spending cannot be proven and therefore are
propaganda, which is prohibited under federal law if taxpayer funds are

{mosads}”Every administration, Republican or Democratic, would like to
promote itself, talk about its accomplishments and use government
dollars to do it,” Issa said. “We just think — our committee in our
oversight role — that they’ve crossed the line.”

Oversight Committee Republicans on Monday released a 37-page report
spelling out its claims of misconduct by the administration. And Issa
has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate possible
violations of federal anti-propaganda laws.

“We accept the fact that some amount of people were employed,” Issa
said Saturday. “We’re a long way — according to the [Inspector
General] for the stimulus — we’re a long way from getting honest and
factual reporting of how many jobs, if any, are actually created or
saved by this expenditure.”

Issa also dinged the administration for what he claimed was a
forcing of stimulus recipients to advertise road projects with highway
signs. The White House this week denied that charge with an
explanation on its stimulus “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

“The Administration believes that signage is one of several ways to
provide the public with full notice of how its tax dollars are being
spent and advance the Recovery Act’s goals of openness and
transparency,” the website reads. “Guidance therefore intends to
encourage — but does not require — the use of signage where appropriate and
in furtherance of openness and transparency.”

But Issa jumped on an Aug. 17 Department of Transportation IG report
explaining that the department had ended prior sign requirements as an
admission that the administration had acted improperly.

our job to say when it crosses the line and becomes propaganda under
the 1952 law,” Issa said Friday.  “We believe it has.”


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