By Gretchen Gailey
"I know it has created some jobs, but clearly not what we were anticipating," Representative Carol Shea Porter's (NH-D) words to WMUR-TV referring to the President Barack Obama's highly touted Stimulus Bill.
Just last week, the New Hampshire Office of Economic Recovery released a report indicating only 3,007 jobs had been created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 19 % of the16,000 projected jobs promised to New Hampshire by the White House when the act was first signed.
In February, Shea Porter voted for the Stimulus bill and told constituents that the Recovery Act was the key to getting people back to work.
"I am pleased that President Obama today signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. This bill will create and save thousands of New Hampshire jobs, give 95% of working Americans an immediate tax cut, and invest in critical local infrastructure. While this is not a perfect bill, it is a necessary bill that will help get our economy back on track."
Now Shea Porter seems to be taking a step back from that bold support.
"I think that we should have put more money into the infrastructure so that there would be more projects that people could work on," says Shea Porter.
Shea Porter scored a big upset in 2006 when she unseated two-term Republican Representative Jeb Bradley by a 3 percentage-point margin. In a tough rematch in 2008 Shea Porter beat Bradley out by 6 points. She even ran about a point behind presidential nominee Barack Obama, who turned the 1st District Democratic blue after it favored Republican George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Republican candidate Mayor Frank Guinta of Manchester, plans to take on Shea Porter in 2010. And the GOP will continue to push that Shea-Porter is too liberal for what is a closely divided district.
"Carol Shea Porter has finally admitted that the Stimulus Bill was poorly put together and hasn't been effective. The real trouble is that there is no return policy for this trillion dollar boondoggle that has not put people back to work. With Congress now debating a trillion dollar government-run health plan, New Hampshire residents can only hope that she'll put more thought into this vote, instead of blindly following Pelosi," says Tory Mazzola, National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman.
Despite Shea Porter's comments to the local TV station, the White House is standing behind her and aren't concerned about her wavering support.
"Rep. Shea Porter has been a strong supporter of the Recovery Act, and a key advocate for its prompt and energetic implementation. The Act has created or saved more than 1 million jobs nationwide, which is why a wide range of observers -- from independent economists to business leaders to governors in both parties -- have acknowledged its critical role in dealing with the tough economic times we face as a nation," says Liz Oxhorn, White House Spokesperson for the Recovery Act.