Eye Opener: Nearly all stimulus reports received
Happy Thursday! More than 98 percent of the companies, educational institutions and other groups that have received economic stimulus money submitted spending reports last quarter, the White House announced on Tuesday.
The news essentially means that most stimulus recipients turned in their homework on schedule last month, providing federal agencies with information on how they spent the money. Government officials and stimulus critics will review the data to determine whether the money is truly stimulating the economy. (A Congressional Budget Office estimate released this week suggests the program has created up to 2.1 million jobs.)
"While we are pleased with the increased compliance, we are continuing to work with federal agencies to reach 100 percent participation and have asked both federal agencies and the Recovery Board to develop penalties for those who don’t comply," White House recovery czar Ed DeSeve said in a statement on Tuesday.
Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney has said he plans to go on "the war path" and target "two time losers," or recipients who failed to publicly report how they're spending taxpayer dollars when spending reports were due in September and January.
"I'm going to be pretty loud about these people," he said during an interview with The Eye in late January. Last fall he asked Congress to enact penalties for noncompliant recipients, faulting lawmakers for not adding penalties when they passed the stimulus program last year.
Devaney's office could not immediately provide information on the noncompliant recipients when asked Tuesday evening, saying the White House only delivered the information that afternoon.
Though most ink and ire devoted to the stimulus focuses on whether the program is working, it's important to track the program's actual implementation since much of the partisan-driven criticism has stemmed from confusion about spending information. The results released Tuesday suggest officials may have fixed kinks feeding much of the confusion and criticism.
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• Question of the Week: As a federal worker, are you satisfied with your health care, including the prescription drug benefit? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org for potential inclusion on Friday's Federal Worker Page.
• Cabinet and Staff News: John Sununu defends Rahm Emanuel. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blames "political gridlock" for delayed State Dept. appointees. British Conservative Party Leader David Cameron hires former Obama campaign advisers to get him elected prime minister. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. didn't tell her about his decision to try KSM in New York City. Obama nominates University of California Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. More on the "smearing" of Obama's new Islamic envoy. Pentagon and Foggy Bottom deputies headed to Israel for strategic talks.
• CIA and Pakistan work together, but do so warily: The agency and its Pakistani counterpart, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, have a long and often tormented relationship.
• California Democrat targets CIA moonlighting: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) says she will offer an amendment to the Intelligence Reauthorization bill later this week that would put new rules into place on the practice of intelligence officers who take second jobs in the private sector.
• Marine, Navy commanders weigh in on 'don't ask': The head of the Marine Corps says he opposes any moratorium on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
• FBI raids 3 auto parts suppliers in antitrust probe: Agents raided offices of Denso, Yazaki North America and Tokai Rika on Tuesday evening as part of a Justice Department antitrust investigation into automotive electronics suppliers.
• FDA creates partnership to boost regulatory science: The agency will collaborate with the National Institutes of Health in an effort to more quickly rule on the safety and effectiveness of new products and procedures.
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY:
• At Homeland Security, contractors outnumber federal workers: DHS officials informed Senate staffers this month that it employs roughly 200,000 contractors and about 188,000 federal employees. The figure does not include uniformed members of the Coast Guard, which is one of the department's 22 agencies.
• DHS IG: Millions wasted by FEMA: The disaster agency spent twice as much as it needed to for a building in Tennessee that smelled like sewage and had insects, roaches and bullet casings strewn over its floors.
• Dulles security officials to get excused absences after TSA reconsiders: The agency has reversed itself and decided not to mark as AWOL any security screeners who did not work when federal offices were closed during the recent snow emergency.
• U.S. attorney to review Boston mail-bomb probe: It will review its investigation into an attempted mail bombing, an inquiry in which authorities questioned a professor now accused of killing three colleagues in Alabama.
• Spain takes 1st Guantanamo inmate, Albania takes 3: The U.S. Justice Department issued a statement expressing gratitude to Spain and said there are now 188 inmates being held in Guantanamo.
• Senators vow to fight NASA outsource plan: Calling the plans a "radical" departure from past budgets, lawmakers expressed bipartisan opposition to the White House initiative and complained about a lack of clear-cut goals.
• State moves to restore arms control bureau: The department is circulating plans and soliciting feedback on a proposed reorganization of the bureau to beef up its arms control focus and staffing.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
• VA check fraud often perpetrated by relatives of deceased: The department and the Social Security Administration acknowledge that their respective lists are imperfect because of mistakes that include errors in names, dates of death or Social Security numbers.
| February 25, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener, Tracking the Stimulus
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