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A closer look at the bailout bill

January 16, 2009

Michelle Malkin was the first place I saw with the links. There’s 2 parts:
Recovery Bill 

Recovery Report

Republican Congressman Boehner’s response has been widely quoted: “Oh my God.” Democrat Congressman Obey said the bill may not be large enough. I’m going to endeavor to read this thing – I got to page 40 today, and will post what I find.

Right off the top, 50% of this money may not be spent for 2 years. “shall enter into contracts or other binding commitments not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this ACT”. The first half must be contracted within 1 year.

The heads of Federal Agencies will get to determine how funds are spent if original grantees fail to spend it quickly. (Time to take the Labor Secretary on a junket!)

 Page 7- Up to .5% of funds may be used for the expenses of management & oversight of the programs. IE, the Federal agencies can take that out before awarding grants. (only what, $4,250,000,000- that’s $4.25 Billion)

Page 8-10 – Inspector General for the various agencies gets ADDITIONAL oversight millions, totaling $208,500,000. And GAO gets $25,000,000.

Only 248 more pages of waste to go!

Funds can’t be used for a casinos aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

Recovery.gov will be set up to allow overisight of all grant competitions, allocations, and awards.

This web site (recovery.gov) will also contain findings of any of the inspectors general about concerns raised by the public about specific grants.

The Comptroller General will conduct bimonthly reviews of state and local use of the funds. Those reports will also be on recovery.gov

The Council of Economic advisors will issue quarterly reports (not on the web site?)

Existing fixed-price contracts can be used to obligate these funds more quickly.

Establishes the “Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board”. Their job: Ensure reporting. Verifying competition requirements are met, look for abuses, review staffing levels, review training of grant personnel.

They’ll do “flash reports” as needed, and quarterly reports. Also an annual report, and written recommendations to agencies.

They also get to coordinate inquiries by agency inspectors general.

The board can enter into contracts. (no word on funding?)

Inspectors general will still have independent authority.

There will also be an “independent advisory panel” appointed by the Pres. They get travel expenses.

Page 23. Here’s $14,000,000 for the board to spend.

The board terminates 12 months after 90% of the money has been spent (which could be 2012, or later for re-awards).

 

Page 32 – the laundry list begins.

  1. For the Dept. of Agriculture:
    $44,000,000 for buildings, facilities, and RENT.
  2. $209,000,000 MORE for work on facilities.
  3. $245,000,000 salaries and expenses for IT improvements.
  4. $350,000,000 for flood prevention operations
  5. Another $50,000,000 for watershed rehabilitation program
  6. $5,838,000,000 for the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act
  7. For the cost of direct loangs, loan guarantees and grants, $1,800,000,000
  8. Rural housing insurance fund – $22,129,000,000
  9. Additional amount for those loans – $500,000,000
  10. Rural Utilities service $2,825,000,000

That takes us down to page 40.

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