Sunday, February 1, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Last Wednesday the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In its current form, the act amounts to $819 billion in additional spending. It still has to make its way through the Senate where additional allocations are expected.

You can read the act in its current form here. There are legitimate infrastructure provisions outlined in the act such as allocations for energy efficiency, alternative energy , expansion of broadband internet access and projects for the army corps of engineers. There are also some questionable provisions and one very funny section aimed at a certain disgraced former Governor. Here are some highlights:

SEC. 1107. APPROPRIATIONS FOR INSPECTORS GENERAL.
In addition to funds otherwise made available in this Act, there are hereby appropriated the following sums to the specified Offices of Inspector General, to remain available until September 30, 2013, for oversight and audit of programs, grants, and projects funded under this Act:
(1) ‘Department of Agriculture--Office of Inspector General’, $22,500,000.
(2) ‘Department of Commerce--Office of Inspector General’, $10,000,000.
(3) ‘Department of Defense--Office of the Inspector General’, $15,000,000.
(4) ‘Department of Education--Departmental Management--Office of the Inspector General’, $14,000,000.
(5) ‘Department of Energy--Office of Inspector General’, $15,000,000.
(6) ‘Department of Health and Human Services--Office of the Secretary--Office of Inspector General’, $19,000,000.
(7) ‘Department of Homeland Security--Office of Inspector General’, $2,000,000.
(8) ‘Department of Housing and Urban Development--Management and Administration--Office of Inspector General’, $15,000,000.
(9) ‘Department of the Interior--Office of Inspector General’, $15,000,000.
(10) ‘Department of Justice--Office of Inspector General’, $2,000,000.
(11) ‘Department of Labor--Departmental Management--Office of Inspector General’, $6,000,000.
(12) ‘Department of Transportation--Office of Inspector General’, $20,000,000.
(13) ‘Department of Veterans Affairs--Office of Inspector General’, $1,000,000.
(14) ‘Environmental Protection Agency--Office of Inspector General’, $20,000,000.

(15) ‘General Services Administration--General Activities--Office of Inspector General’, $15,000,000.
(16) ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration--Office of Inspector General’, $2,000,000.
(17) ‘National Science Foundation--Office of Inspector General’, $2,000,000.
(18) ‘Small Business Administration--Office of Inspector General’, $10,000,000.
(19) ‘Social Security Administration--Office of Inspector General’, $2,000,000.
(20) ‘Corporation for National and Community Service--Office of Inspector General’, $1,000,000.

SEC. 1108. APPROPRIATION FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE.
There is hereby appropriated as an additional amount for ‘Government Accountability Office--Salaries and Expenses’ $25,000,000, for oversight activities relating to this Act.


This totals $233.5 million just for oversight. The numbers we deal with today are so big that it is hard to keep any sort of perspective. $233.5 million used to be considered a lot of money.

SEC. 1110. USE OF AMERICAN IRON AND STEEL.
(a) In General- None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron and steel used in the project is produced in the United States.

Time to buy some X (US Steel) stock?

SEC. 1112. ADDITIONAL ASSURANCE OF APPROPRIATE USE OF FUNDS.
None of the funds provided by this Act may be made available to the State of Illinois, or any agency of the State, unless: (1) the use of such funds by the State is approved in legislation enacted by the State after the date of the enactment of this Act; or (2) Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of Governor of the State of Illinois. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any funds provided directly to a unit of local government: (1) by a Federal department or agency; or (2) by an established formula from the State.


They stuffed an anti-Blagojevich clause into the bill! Since he is now out of office it will not apply but that is just funny to me.

Farm Service Agency
salaries and expenses
For an additional amount for ‘Salaries and Expenses,’ $245,000,000, for the purpose of maintaining and modernizing the information technology system


$245 million for farming computers? Those must be pretty powerful computers. There are lots of other provisions in the act for computer equipment. Should we specify that all computer parts be manufactured in the USA? Hmm...that might be difficult to implement.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its a boondoggle for lobbyists. Change we can believe in sure.