OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

House Dems Release Stimulus Summary

January 15, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE: And here is a pdf file of the full bill text. $825 billion in 258 pages.

New York Times:

>House Democrats on Thursday unveiled an $825 billion economic recovery package, an expansive combination of spending and tax cuts that aims to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work and halt what is widely believed to be the nation’s worst recession since the Depression.
>The package, developed by Congressional Democrats in partnership with President-elect Barack Obama, includes huge increases in federal spending on education, aid to states for Medicaid costs, temporary increases in unemployment benefits and a vast array of public works projects to create jobs.
>The Senate is developing a version of the recovery package and intense haggling and fierce lobbying are expected over the next few weeks, not just between Democrats and Republicans but between the new administration and Congress, as lawmakers push to pass the stimulus bill by mid-February.
>But the House version, introduced on Thursday morning by the Appropriations Committee chairman, Representative David Obey, Democrat of Wisconsin, contains the broad parameters that are expected to remain in the final product — slightly more than 60 percent in new spending and just under 40 percent on tax cuts.

The full text of the legislation hasn’t been released yet, but you can get more detailed information, including a break down of all the spending items, from the House Appropriations Committee’s executive summary (.pdf). The summary claims that the bill includes an unprecedented level of transparency, oversight and accountability. That’s the kind of thing we’ll need the text to verify, but these items from the summary sound like they could be pretty good:

  • How funds are spent, all announcements of contract and grant competitions and awards, and formula grant allocations must be posted on a special website created by the President. Program managers will also be listed so the public knows who to hold accountable.
  • Public notification of funding must include a description of the investment funded, the purpose, the total cost and why the activity should be funded with recovery dollars. Governors, mayors or others making funding decisions must personally certify that the investment has been fully vetted and is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. This will also be placed on the recovery website.
Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


  • Anonymous 01/16/2009 10:20am

    Does anyone know when the text of the legislation will be released?

  • Comm_reply
    donnyshaw 01/16/2009 12:01pm

    It’s been released. See the update at the top of this post for a link to download the .pdf.

  • Lawenforcement 01/17/2009 3:06pm

    That the House and Senate have not included in any economic package the release and equitable treatment reform, from the Finance committee, called the Social Security Fairness ACt and similar proposals, is a travesty and insult to low and middle income Americans. That Medicaid is to be helped, without giving aid to seniors and working Americans trying to live and work, or if retired or ill, to save their own homes and be warm, because they do not get a equal amount of social security that they or their spouses contributed to at the same rate as higher and lower income Americans, is the most disparate and dishonest manipulation by our elected representatives.

    When someone making less than $20,000. qualifies and receives sometimes 80,000 in benefits from government. The question is how do the people making slightly above the poverty level survive, afford their health insurance, heat, etc? Who is the middle income and who is the poor? How many governors have approved santuary cities and signed up new Medicaid recipients, voters, and workers without verifying or accounting for those who dont pay taxes, social security taxes, or even medical bills? How much money going to Mexico through Bank of America, is tax free because of the number of illegals working below the tax system, yet eligible for benefits that millions of Americans paid into for themselves and for the “poor”?
    So far I havent seen one item that helps the seniors and widows and orphans, that have been struggling for over 4 years with increasing prices, losses in private retirement plans, and the individual restraint that dictated a work ethic over welfare entitlement lives,that gives back nothing to the plight of those who didnt count on social security, except as a supplement, and now find Congress decided in 1983 that the formula had to be changed.
    Does Obama even know of the bills languishing in Congress and the class of people being punished for just following Kennedy’s dictate to go into teaching, law enforcement and public service, even if the wages were low and change the system from within? It would appear not, possibly because Franks and Congress are not aware of the crisis these people face, and not enough lobby money going to their pockets to get the bills out into the open? To say Governors will have to certify that funds or projects are vetted before getting funds, is like saying every pork spending within a bill, has to be vetted and approved by a politician or Congressman/woman. Get real!

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.