"The more we learn about the administration's 'jobs created or saved' methodology, the more questions we have regarding its accuracy and validity," Rep. Darrell Issa told ABC News Sunday night. "Now we learn that OMB is playing an active role in trying to filter information. Given this hands-on role that the administration is playing, it would be appropriate to have OMB represented at Thursday's hearing."
Last month the administration claimed that 640,329 jobs had been saved or created because of the $159 billion in stimulus money allocated as of the end of September.
When the numbers were released October 30, the White House acknowledged that they were not exact, while touting the work they had done to make the report as accurate as possible. Ed DeSeve, senior advisor to the President for Recovery Act Implementation, said he had been "scrubbing" the job estimates so much that he now had "dishpan hands and my fingers are worn to the nub."
As ABCNews.com reported last week, Issa has sent a letter to Devaney challenging the stimulus jobs numbers.
Since the latest stimulus report, there have been numerous media reports that the jobs numbers were inflated.
The Associated Press said the report "significantly overstates the number of jobs spared with money from programs serving families and children, mostly the Head Start preschool program."
The Denver Post also cited overstated federal figures with the Colorado Head Start program, noting that the government reported 269 jobs saved or created by the program, but only three were actually saved or created.
The Chicago Tribune noted that the administration said $4.7 million in stimulus money for schools in north Chicago had saved the jobs of 473 teachers, but the school district only employed 290 teachers. The statistics – claiming that stimulus money had helped save or create 14,330 school jobs in Illinois – were "riddled with anomalies that raise questions about their validity."
The Boston Globe also reported that Massachusetts recipients of stimulus funds claimed that 12,000 jobs had been saved or created, "that number has been inflated by miscounts, erroneous figures, or claiming jobs for work not yet started."