Key House Dem Wants Answers on Errors

By Gorman Gorman

Nov 17, 2009 10:41am

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Errors in data tracking job creation under the stimulus are prompting bipartisan blowback on Capitol Hill.

Hours after ABC's Jonathan Karl reported on government data showing hundreds of created jobs and millions of dollars spent in congressional districts that don't exist, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., late Monday issued a blistering statement demanding an immediate fix to "ludicrous mistakes" on the Website.

"The inaccuracies on that have come to light are outrageous and the Administration owes itself, the Congress, and every American a commitment to work night and day to correct the ludicrous mistakes," Obey said. "Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it. We've got too many serious problems in this country to let that happen."

"Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now," Obey continued.

The revelation about the jobs in phantom districts comes in advance of a Thursday hearing in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, can expect sharp questions from Republicans who have been critical of the administration's job-creation statistics.

Another hiccup in advance of that hearing: The administration was forced to slice 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on stimulus spending because of what officials deemed to be "unrealistic data" flowing in from stimulus recipients, according to ABC's Matt Jaffe. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the oversight committee's ranking member, is calling on the board to add a disclaimer to the Web site, if board members say they can't certify the accuracy of the figures.

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