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Stimulus Amendments Proposed

January 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The House Committee on Rules has posted all the amendments that have been submitted for their consideration tonight. There are hundreds:

Summary of Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee for H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

To be considered by the full House on the floor tomorrow, amendments must be approved by the Committee at their meeting at 3:30 this afternoon. The folks at Open Left have organized a last-minute call-in on some of these. There’s only a couple hours left to push these through the Committee, give a call if you’re so inclined (202-225-9091).

Just going through this quickly, below are a few of the amendments related (somewhat) to transparency that caught my eye:

>#188 – Would require that the website track any obligation, solicitation, contract, or grant through an attached “unique identifier,” include a fully functional database that within 60 days of enactment can trace the flow of Federal dollars to the State and local level, and from the beginning of a project to the contractor, and in some cases, subcontractor level, and include information on the recipients of funds including any minority, disadvantaged or veteran-owned businesses. [Schock (R-IL)/Smith, Adam (D-WA)]
>#89 – Would require that the website contain links and other information on how to access job information created at or by entities receiving funding under the bill; including links to local employment agencies, state, local, and other public agencies receiving recovery funds, and private firms contracted to perform work funded by the bill. [Teague (D-NM)]
>#110 – Would include the Comptroller General of the United States as a member of the Accountability and Transparency Board, would require reports to be posted on, require bi-annual reports, and require the Chief Performance Office to report to Congress on a bi-annual basis on the activities of the Board. [Neugebauer (R-TX)]
>#159 – Would alter the composition of the Accountability and Transparency Board. Would apply the open meeting requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act to the Board. Finally, the amendment prohibits Board interference in pending or ongoing IG investigations. [Issa (R-CA)]
>#160 – Would prohibit the use of funds provided in the bill for lobbying, publicity, propaganda, or political activity, including election assistance and voter registration. [Issa (R-CA)]
>#68 – Would withhold half the discretionary funds made available by the Act until OMB submits an expenditure plan to the Committee on Appropriations that includes details of all proposed expenditures, a description of how funds provided will produce results, and a certification that the oversight requirements listed in Title I of the bill are in place. [Rogers, Harold (R-KY)]

UPDATE: This one’s not related to transparency, but I think it’s noteworthy:

>#76 – Would allow funds to be appropriated for public aquariums, zoos, and swimming pools. [Snyder (D-AR)]

As ProPublica noted, funding for casinos, aquariums, zoos, golf courses and swimming pools is specifically banned from the bill. Which leaves one to wonder, what’s Snyder got against gambling and golf?

Also, Open Left succeeded in getting this one approved for consideration on the floor:

>#70 – Would increase transit capital funding by $3 billion. [Nadler (D-NY)]

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