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News on the Recovery Plan

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is the law, but public opinion will still be shaped for months to come as it begins to take effect.

Today, President Obama announced the release of $155 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan for new community health centers. These health centers will provide needed care to 750,000 Americans and create an estimated 5,000 jobs.  Click here to get a state-by-state breakdown of how many patients will benefit from the Recovery Act funding for community health care centers.
Headlines and Highlights of other coverage include:

USA Today: Stimulus has funds for GAO to beef up staff

For three years, the investigative arm of Congress has seen its staff dwindle in size. Now, the agency is getting a $25 million infusion of cash from the stimulus bill signed by President Obama last month to hire investigators, auditors and others to track hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending to jump-start the economy.

The stimulus bill contains $330.5 million for oversight and offers the president his first opportunity to put into practice his campaign pledge to demand greater accountability of federal spending. It provides $25 million for the Government Accountability Office, the non-partisan congressional agency; $84 million to create an accountability board within the administration and $221.5 million to the inspectors general who serve as department watchdogs…[3/2/09]

Wall Street Journal Washington Wire:  White House Touts Factory Reopening

President Barack Obama said his $787-billion stimulus package was a down payment on a revitalized U.S. job market fueled by a new ‘green' economy.

On Sunday, he got his first dividend … Vice President Joe Biden commended California's Serious Materials for buying the Chicago's Republic Windows and Doors and promising to rehire its 250 employees at their previous wages… [3/1/09]

Wichita Eagle Editorial (Kansas): Stimulus Funding a Huge Help to State

“This federal money stabilizes things. It keeps us from having to make those cuts that go deeper,” state budget director Duane Goossen told The Eagle editorial board…

The cash is real, all right -- meant to be spent helping Kansans endure the downturn and helping Kansas rebound. [3/1/09]

Arkansas Leader Editorial: Beebe Should Accept Help

…Part of President Obama's stimulus program is extended unemployment insurance. The idea is that it would put cash into the pockets of the neediest people, who would spend it right away and stimulate the demand for goods and services. The country needs economic activity in the worst way, and what quicker way than put it in the hands of people who lost their jobs, often multiple jobs, but who do not qualify for jobless payments because they do not meet the crazy quilt rules that many states follow to deny benefits?... [3/2/09]

New York Times Editorial: Right Approach to State Aid

…The stimulus would be especially helpful in the half-dozen states that have been forced to finance their unemployment systems through borrowing. In general, the flood of federal dollars would stoke state economies, putting money in the hands of people who would spend it to feed, clothe and house their families. The healthier the economy, the less likely a tax increase becomes.

In addition to the $7 billion it spends on benefits for the unemployed, the stimulus sets aside $500 million to help the states with administrative costs. States that have run out of employment money -- and have been borrowing to sustain their programs -- should be welcoming this money with open arms… [3/1/09]

Clarion Ledger Editorial (Mississippi): Barbour Just Dead Wrong to Refuse Aid

The idea that Mississippi is telling the federal government 'no thanks' to some $52 million to help unemployed workers is just hard to believe…

There are no downsides to putting $52 million to help those who have lost their jobs put food on the table and have that money turning over in the state economy. Barbour is just dead wrong. The Legislature should override the decision, as it can under the federal law…

These are unusual times, difficult times. Who knows if the stimulus will work? What will not work is the same ol' partisan politics that seeks political advantage rather than solutions. [3/1/09]