Kansas Sen. Brownback accused of hypocrisy over stimulus project

Democratic leaders in the state Legislature are accusing U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback of hypocrisy over federal economic-stimulus spending for a Hutchinson rail spur, claiming he is trying to take credit for something he opposed.

At issue is a news release issued by Brownback's office last week titled "Brownback applauds infrastructure development in Hutchinson, Kansas," celebrating a $1.78 million federal grant to help build a rail spur to serve the Salt City Business Park.

On Monday, Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, issued a joint commentary titled "Brownback deserves no credit for Hutchinson grant."

"If Sam Brownback had had his way, Hutchinson would have never received that grant," Hensley said. "Certainly what this is is hypocrisy."

The funding for the rail spur was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill passed in February and backed mainly by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Brownback voted against the bill and spoke in opposition to it in the Senate.

His office declined to comment on the state legislators' statement.

Audio and written records indicate Brownback has had a mixed relationship with the stimulus bill.

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