Hidden “Stimulus” Spending – We’re buying WHAT???

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

One of the major flaws of both the House and Senate stimulus packages is the lack of a clear description of how these funds will actually be spent by federal agencies. While Senate attempts to reduce the size and improve the package should be applauded, many of the pots of “stimulus” money in the bill still receive little or no specific legislative direction.  This is yet another example of why the current stimulus plan should be scraped and the crafting of the plan should go back to square one.

 Lack of transparency and accountability in the stimulus bill have not been addressed by the Democrat majority. In fact, there are NO provisions in either the House or Senate bill to ensure proper use of these funds BEFORE they are spent, not after the money goes out the door.  Attempts by Republicans in Committee and on the House floor to address this issue were shot down by Democrat leaders.

 Appropriations Republicans, concerned with this irresponsible process and possible abuse of taxpayer funds, have asked various federal agencies how they intend to spend the windfall of cash that Congress may approve in the “stimulus” bill.

 Alarmingly, many agencies were hesitant to provide information on how this money will be spent.Yet, the little information that was received made matters even worse.

 One peak behind the bureaucratic curtain has yielded the following examples of hidden program information that is not included in the language of the bill or report. These are programs which various federal agencies have privately indicated they will fund with “stimulus” money. While some of these programs may be worthwhile to consider in the future, they simply do not belong in a stimulus bill:  


             Renovations of the Blair House (official guest quarters for foreign visitors to the White House )


= Up to $37.5 million


             Wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area – including work to protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse


= $30 million


             Improving the Herring River estuary in Massachusetts to “benefit shellfish”


= $20 million


             Irrigating and sowing plants in Hawaii to “support native and migratory birds, finfish species, native flora, and traditional Hawaiian practices”


=$12 million


             Oyster restoration in the entire Gulf of Mexico


=$8-10 million


             GSA acquisition of “plug in” electric vehicles – which are not made, nor are currently available in the United States.


= $600 million


             Renovation of Castle Clinton Fort in New York City to turn it into an open-air theater


= $5.7 million


             100% reimbursement for an after-school snack program - regardless of individual ability to pay


= $726 million




112th Congress