Non-existent districts in Ga., nation receive millions in stimulus money

ATLANTA – Good news for Georgians living in the 00, 14th, 19th, 21st, 25th, 27th and 86th Congressional districts – millions in federal stimulus dollars is headed your way.

There’s one catch: None of the districts exist. But, according to Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., it hasn’t stopped the flow of money, at least according to Recovery.gov, the Web site that is supposed to let taxpayers keep an eye on stimulus spending. Instead, it’s provoked criticism.

“In May, I warned that in addition to broken transparency promises, the Obama Administration is offering ‘progress’ reports that are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Half a year later, this Administration has proven that it can spend, spend, spend,” Broun said in a news release. “But when it comes to managing the spending and improving transparency, they simply haven’t been up to the task.”

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., even filed a complaint about the site – to the site itself.

“Americans deserve a full accounting of how the contract for this website was awarded, why it cost so much, and what in God’s name is going on with our trillion dollars?” Brown-Waite said in a news release. “At a time when so many Americans are out of work and our nation’s debt has exploded, that the Administration would spend so much money on what now turns out to be propaganda is quite frankly appalling.”

A GAO report found a number of “erroneous or questionable data entries that merit further review,” including “3,978 reports that showed no dollar amount received or expended but included more than 50,000 jobs created or retained” and “9,247 reports that showed no jobs but included expended amounts approaching $1 billion.”

“In the case of the non-stimulus bill, the President is failing to fulfill his promises to keep unemployment down and track every, single dime,” Broun said. “I hope the Administration will fix this website soon and clear up the cloud of confusion surrounding its big spending. I also sincerely hope that we do not learn that some of these figures were pulled out of thin air.”

As of Saturday, the stimulus spending saved “24,681.1” jobs in Georgia, according to recovery.gov. The state was awarded nearly $4.2 billion and has received about $1.4 billion, according to the site. The government says the incorrect Congressional district data has been corrected.

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