Kaptur, Brown want Ohio to get bigger share of stimulus funds

SANDUSKY Give us more money. We need it. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Tol
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010



Give us more money.

We need it.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are arguing that because Ohio has been hit especially hard by the recession, the state should receive a greater share of help in the stimulus bill.

The House approved an $819 billion stimulus bill last week with a 244-188 vote. Kaptur voted for the bill, and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, voted against the measure.

The U.S. Senate is working this week on its own version of the stimulus bill.

Kaptur voted for the measure although "she thinks it could be substantially better," said Steve Fought, Kaptur's spokesman.

"Ohio has a good case to make for extra assistance," Fought said. "Ohio and Michigan are a special situation. The economies have been built around the auto industry."

The congresswoman believes cities and states battling especially high unemployment and other economic woes should receive extra federal help.

Kaptur argued the point in a Dec. 8 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The letter noted that Toledo, the biggest city in Kaptur's district, is among the 10 poorest cities in America with a population of more than 250,000.

Brown has made a similar argument.

"Just as the recession had disproportionately affected certain industries, so too have certain states felt the downturn more acutely than others," Brown wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "In Ohio, this is evidenced by above-average unemployment and home foreclosure rates, swelling jobless rolls, increased reliance on the food stamp program and a number of other economic indicators."

Meanwhile, Latta has been busy explaining why he joined the House Republicans in voting against the measure. His district includes Huron County, which has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 13.5 percent.

Latta said the House bill is filled with pork barrel spending that does little to aid the economy.

"Our economy needs fast and immediate relief, and unfortunately, spending $50 million on the National Endowment for the Arts, $600 million for new cars for federal government employees, $1 billion for the census and $194 million for repairs to the Department of Agriculture headquarters and the Smithsonian Institute, do nothing to quickly pull our country out of recession," Latta said.

He said information about the rival GOP stimulus bill is posted at republicanwhip.house.gov/jobs.