Home > newsroom > Page
6 Month “Stimulus” Anniversary: Hastings Asks Administration How Decisions Are Made, What Jobs Have Been Created
Forest Service Sends Money To States with No National Forests, Interior Department Has Paid Out Less than 1% of Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 17, 2009 - As the trillion dollar “stimulus” bill reaches its six-month mark, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent the attached letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking answers on how spending decisions are being made, why the promise of immediately funding projects hasn’t been kept, and what jobs have actually been created by the low percentage of funds that have actually been paid out.

“After six months, it is clear that the only thing the stimulus bill has done is balloon our national deficit at a record-setting pace,” said Ranking Member Hastings. “The Administration told the American people that this bill would create jobs and prevent unemployment from going higher than 8 percent -- yet the national unemployment rate is already 9.4 percent. Where are the jobs that were supposed to be immediately created from this trillion dollar bill? With each passing day, the list of questions regarding this ineffective spending bill grows longer and longer.”

In the letter, Hastings requests answers to the following questions to increase transparency of the decision-making process:

  1. An explanation of why the Forest Service is sending millions of stimulus dollars to states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island) that have no Forest Service land? Considering the immense fire-threat posed to communities and states in the Western United States by overgrown and under-maintained Forest Service lands, how is it justified to spend millions of dollars in Northeastern states with no National Forests? Which officials within the Administration, both in the Department of Agriculture and the White House, reviewed and approved the allocation of these funds? For what specific projects were these awards made and what was the specific number of jobs that were to be created?
  1. A list of all the stimulus projects that were considered or proposed by the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service as possible projects to receive stimulus funding.
  1. A specific explanation of which officials made the decisions to select which projects received stimulus funding. What was the review and approval process within the agency, Department, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the White House, including which officials had a role in the review and decision-making process?
  1. The role OMB played in deciding what projects were selected -- including whether OMB approval was required for each project to receive funding.
  1. A current estimate of how many jobs have been created as a result of each Department’s stimulus spending, preferably on a project-by-project basis.
On August 14th, the Washington Times reported that the pace of stimulus spending had dramatically declined over the past month. Despite Secretary Salazar’s statement in February that the Interior Department had “a huge backlog of ‘shovel-ready’ construction projects,” Recovery.gov reports that the Interior Department has still paid out less than one percent of its allocated $3 billion:

# # #

Print version of this document


Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

Latest News

Bishop Welcomes Trump Action on Offshore Energy Initiatives

House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s announcement on offshore initiatives. “A thorough review of the morass o...... Read more

Committee Passes Bipartisan Bill to Safeguard Electric Transmission, Enhance Grid Reliability

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1873, the “Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act,” bipartisan vote of 24-14. Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Kurt Schrad...... Read more

Committee Advances Slate of Bills to Boost Water and Power Infrastructure

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed a slate of bills to expand and improve our nation’s water and power infrastructure. The bills represent one segment of the Committee’s contributi...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Oversight Hearing on Examining the Consequences of Executive Overreach of the Antiquities Act
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Oversight Hearing on the Challenges of Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Opportunities for New Development
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
View All Events