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Eye Opener: Stimulus Progress Reports Are In

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Tuesday! It's been 91 days since the economic stimulus package became law, which means each government department or agency receiving recovery act funding has submitted their first detailed report on what they plan to do with the money.

As the Eye on the Stimulus blog notes, "Among the requirements are a report by the president on how the stimulus programs will affect the environment and a report on the the $7.2 billion broadband program to bring Internet service to underserved communities."

"Federal agencies say they’re on schedule to deliver the reports to Congress. But there’s no requirement to make them available to the public."

You can review most of the reports already posted at Recovery.gov, where the departments will provide details on their broad goals, a description of the contracts they seek, the contract competition process and their accountability plans.

Cabinet and Staff News: Vice President Biden (on his way to Southeast Europe) recalls his friendship with Tim Russert. Former President Bill Clinton will serve as UN special envoy to Haiti. Hillary Clinton discusses "digital diplomacy" in her Barnard College commencement address. Gary Locke and Steven Chu announce new smart-grid standards. Timothy Geithner opposes caps on executive compensation. Ken Salazar says the Bush Administration "left a mess" to clean up. Kathleen Sebelius attends her first WHO meeting in Geneva; outlines U.S. plans to fight swine flu. Zalmay Khalilzad considers a powerful, unelected job with the Afghan government. An SEC official denies trying to intimidate his mother's brokers. Obama's FDA nominee confirmed while he delays a meeting with his potential NASA nominee.

Today's Big Events: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation holds confirmation hearings for Lawrence Strickling, Aneesh Chopra, John D. Porcari, J. Randolph Babbitt and Rebecca M. Blank (click on their names to learn more about their nominations). Also: Young Government Leaders hosts a "Profiles in Leadership" panel at 6 p.m. at the National Academy of Public Administration.

In other news...

U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails: In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.

Amid Queries, CIA Worries About Future: The agency is girding itself for more public scrutiny and is questioning whether agency personnel can conduct interrogations effectively under rules set out for the U.S. military

Panetta Warns of Perils of Political Spats: He suggested that comments like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent critiques of the CIA could be detrimental to American national security, echoing criticisms of his fellow California Democrat launched in recent days by Republicans.

Copyright Office Bogged Down by New System: A serious logjam in the U.S. Copyright Office has created a growing mountain of paper applications, more than the staff can process. Like the marching buckets of water in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," the envelopes just keep coming, threatening to flood the operation.

Senators to Napolitano: Curb DHS Contractors: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) asked the secretary to count up how many the department uses.

Obama Avoids Test on Gays in Military: The administration has decided to accept an appeals-court ruling that could undermine the military's ban on service members found to be gay.

FCC Reviewing Arbitron's Counting of Minorities: The agency said broadcasters and media organizations have raised concerns that Arbitron does not include enough minorities in its sample groups.

Census Questionnaires Will Be in English and Spanish: The agency vows to make next year's headcount easier. Riiight.

We’re Complicated; So Is the Census: Oh, and lawmakers wants separate Census boxes for Dominican-Americans and Caribbean-Americans.

NSPS Facing Fresh Round of Scrutiny: The Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management will form a "task group" to review the Pentagon's much-maligned pay-for-performance operation, also known as the National Security Personnel System.

25,000 Postal Jobs Cut This Year: Oh, and it's going to get much worse for the USPS before it gets better.

Landing That Top Paying Federal Job: Some advice on how to do so from federal careers expert Lily Whiteman.

TSP Debuts Web Site Makeover in Fall: Five thousand participants in the 401(k)-type plan will be offered the opportunity to test the revamped site, before it is expanded.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 19, 2009; 6:03 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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