Ryan asked for federal help as he championed cuts

By Jack Gillum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Oct. 12 2012 1:45 a.m. MDT

—Letters offering support or forwarding requests for projects funded by stimulus money. Ryan's May 2009 letter to a regional Environmental Protection Agency office asked for its "full consideration" in awarding grant money to an organization under the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, which reduces diesel emissions.

Ryan also wrote to the EPA in 2009 on behalf of a small town trying to secure $550,000 in stimulus money for utility repairs. Ryan, whose staff requested meetings with the EPA about the matter, said the rescinding of the grant "would be economically devastating" to Sharon, Wis., since it already began spending the money. (The EPA said project costs were incurred before October 2008, making the project ineligible for stimulus cash.) Ryan has also voiced support for millions in EPA grant money to clean up abandoned building sites in Wisconsin towns.

—A 2002 Department of Agriculture loan guarantee to develop a pork-packing and processing plant for farms in the region, including some in his district. The new factory appeared to be "state of the art" and worthy of funding, he said, adding: "It is my hope that the USDA will reach a favorable decision" on the application for a 60 percent federal loan guarantee toward a $19.7 million loan.

—A Kenosha health center's request to use money under Obama's new health care law to help meet health care needs of "thousands of new patients" who lack coverage. Ryan's December 2010 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, first reported by the Nation magazine and also obtained by the AP, appears at odds with his pledge to repeal "Obamacare."

—Support for a grant for the Historical Society in Milton, Wis., from the National Park Service for $271,000 in order to preserve a Civil War-era home. Ryan supported the plan in 2002, saying historical artifacts inside the former transfer point for slaves "have aged to a point where aggressive preservation and restoration is needed to save them." Meanwhile, he's supported recent cuts to the federal budget that would invariably affect national parks.

The AP obtained requested documents from nearly every executive branch agency, although many have been slow to provide any relevant files. Some Obama administration agencies declined AP's request to quickly turn over materials even though they involve an election that's just weeks away.

View Ryan's correspondence: http://apne.ws/SJOyFI

Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jackgillum

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