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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.
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