Davis was unwilling to rate the stimulus’ effect so far based on race, but Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said that overall, he surmised that its impact has been only fair.
“In order for the stimulus to reach the African American community, there has to be a lot of advocacy within each state legislature. It’s not going to happen automatically. In Maryland, we’re fortunate enough to have a governor who’s sensitive to making sure that there’s equity and parity with regard to stimulus money all over our state; not everybody’s like that,” said Cummings. He and fellow CBC member Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland have also asked their governor to list minority business contract awards on the state’s Web site and have pushed hard to ensure that those opportunities are properly advertised.
“It really calls for vigilance, or we’ll be passed by. The black unemployment rate is double that of the general community. So anything that helps the unemployed should have a significant impact on the African American community since it’s suffering so much,” Cummings said.
The vice president also announced a new Website where people can both get and provide information and insight about the stimulus plan in work in every state. By autumn, the site will include a link that will enable visitors to punch in a ZIP code to get all the details of stimulus activity taking place in that area and he’s asked cabinet members to create a link on their sites sooner.
Biden said he’s observed a growing sense of optimism in the communities he’s visited to tout the recovery plan and predicted it will grow even stronger.
But Republicans disagree. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement which charged that the stimulus plan isn’t creating the jobs Obama has promised. “Simply put, the White House spin doesn’t square with reality,” the statement read. “Republicans want to work with the president to get our economy back on track, but [he] seems intent on promoting and adopting some of the most liberal and reckless government intervention economic policies we have ever seen.”
Ohio Rep. Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, also denounced the roadmap to recovery as mere spin. He told reporters in a conference call that results of the stimulus plan so far are abysmal and that any attempt to describe it as otherwise is disingenuous. “The change the public voted for in November wasn’t more government and more unemployment and that’s essentially what we’ve got now,” said Cantor.