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Fiorina: Federal stimulus spending has failed

September 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer says she never voted against spending money that would really help troops in combat. Her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina disagrees. On another issue, Fiorina points to a Los Angeles audit as proof federal stimulus money is being misspent.

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer was at USC to visit a program aimed at veterans with problems adapting to civilian life.

Her opponent, former Hewlet-Packard Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina, was at a private meeting in downtown L.A. In an interview she repeated the charge that Boxer voted against supplemental funding for troops.

"Those authorizations would have funded -- did fund, because most people disagreed with her -- body armor to our troops, extended family leave for our troops, money for PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] treatment and brain trauma," said Fiorina.

Boxer did vote against some supplemental authorizations for the military. She says 85 percent of the time she supported military spending bills.

"On the couple of occasions I voted no, I didn't think that those bills were protective enough of our troops," said Boxer.

Boxer has been a strong supporter of the more than $800 billion in stimulus spending by the federal government. She says without the money, millions of jobs would not have been saved or created.

"How can you say you've created all these jobs when the unemployment rate continues to go up? How can you say you've created all these jobs when a city official right here in L.A. says 'We can only find 50 of them'? I'm sorry, it's failed," said Fiorina.

Fiorina singles out an audit by the L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel that looks at two Los Angeles departments, Public Works and Transportation, that received $111 million in stimulus funds. Yet the money has created only 50 jobs so far. Fiorina cites that as proof the stimulus doesn't work.

Boxer says that's not a good example compared to all the success stories.

"Are there issues that every single dollar that was spent was perfect? Of course not, and we know from the governor that thousands and thousands of jobs were created here, were saved," said Boxer.

Fiorina and Boxer have had only one televised debate. So far there's only a radio debate scheduled between now and the November election.

Boxer says she would like to debate many more times. Fiorina has accepted 12 debates. Her campaign says Boxer has been trying to avoid debates.

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