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Project Gunrunner Got Stimulus Money


Poster “Domandred” at Free Republic dug through the text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the “Obama stimulus,” and discovered that an earmark of ten million dollars for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was rolled into the bill. 

Part of that earmark came from House Resolution 495, the Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009.  This bill explicitly included $15,000 in funding for Project Gunrunner. 


(a) In General- The Attorney General shall dedicate and expand the resources provided for the Project Gunrunner initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in the trafficking of firearms across the international border between the United States and Mexico.

(b) Activities- In carrying out this section, the Attorney General shall–

(1) assign additional agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to the area of the United States adjacent to the international border between the United States and Mexico to support the expansion of Project Gunrunner teams;

(2) establish not fewer than 1 Project Gunrunner team in each State along the international border between the United States and Mexico; and

(3) coordinate with the heads of other relevant Federal law enforcement agencies and State and local law enforcement agencies to address firearms trafficking in a comprehensive manner.

(c) Additional Staff- The Attorney General may hire Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents for, and otherwise expend additional resources needed to adequately support, Project Gunrunner.

(d) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to carry out this section.

Given what actually happened when the ATF “walked” American guns into the hands of murderous Mexican drug lords, the name of this bill is one of the most Orwellian expressions of the modern political era.

That funding did indeed make it into the Obama stimulus act:

For an additional amount for ‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’, $40,000,000, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’ for the ATF Project Gunrunner.

A large number of jobs for Mexican hit men were “created or saved” as a result of this expenditure.

The original Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009 was sponsored by Representative Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX).  Courtesy of Big Government, here is some video of Rep. Rodriguez dealing with unhappy constituents shortly before the 2010 midterm elections:

Clearly the truth is very important to this man, so I’m sure he’ll be happy to tell us what he knew about Operation Gunrunner, and when he knew it.

Rodriguez’ co-sponsors were Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), and Harry Teague (D-NM).  We need to know who pushed this Gunrunner funding into the Obama stimulus, and then the President must be made to formally admit – under oath if necessary – either he knew about Project Gunrunner all along… or he had absolutely no idea what was contained in the trillion-dollar stimulus package he boasted of passing without a single Republican vote. 


Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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