So what exactly is this "stimulus" bill that the Democrats insist is vital to our economic well-being? Below is the official summary of the House-passed stimulus bill, which hopefully will clear a few things up.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - Designates: (1) each amount in this Act as an emergency requirement, necessary to meet certain emergency needs in accordance with the FY2008-FY2009 congressional budget resolutions; and (2) as an emergency for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) principles.
Establishes use-it-or-lose-it requirements for grantees using funds in specified accounts who have not entered into contracts or other binding commitments and used 50% of the funds awarded. Provides for redistribution of such uncommitted funds by the appropriate federal agency.
Makes all funds appropriated by this Act available for obligation through FY2010, unless expressly provided otherwise.
Makes additional appropriations to specified federal agency and departmental Offices of Inspector General.
Appropriates additional amounts to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Prohibits the use of funds for: (1) casino or other gambling establishments, aquariums, zoos, golf courses, or swimming pools; or (2) a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron and steel used in the project is domestic, except in certain circumstances.
Requires publication on the website Recovery.gov of: (1) all federal agency plans for using funds made available in this Act, as well as all related grant announcements; and (2) all federal, state, or local agency public notices regarding funds obligated to particular infrastructure investments.
Prescribes review and reporting requirements for inspectors general of federal departments or executive agencies, the GAO, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Establishes the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board, which shall establish the Recovery.gov website.
Places limitations on the length of certain noncompetitive contracts.
Grants the Comptroller General and the Offices of Inspector General access to certain contractors' or subcontractors' records or employees.
Prohibits reprisals against state and local government and contractor whistleblowers.
Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009 to: (1) the Department of Agriculture; (2) the Department of Commerce; (3) the Department of Justice (DOJ); (4) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); (5) the National Science Foundation; (6) the Department of Defense (DOD); (7) the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers - Civil; (8) the Department of the Interior; and (9) the Department of Energy.
Makes additional appropriations for FY2009 to the Secretary of Agriculture to provide a temporary increase in benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Amends the Hoover Power Plant Act of 1984 to authorize the Western Area Power Administration to borrow funds from the Treasury for: (1) new or upgraded electric power transmission lines and related facilities; and (2) the delivery of power generated by renewable energy resources after enactment of this Act.
Makes additional borrowing authority available to the Bonneville Power Administration.
Appropriates funds for: (1) the General Services Administration (GSA) for the Federal Buildings Fund and the acquisition of energy-efficient motor vehicles; and (2) the Small Business Administration (SBA) for small business loan programs.
Permits the SBA to guarantee up to 95% of qualifying small business loans made by eligible lenders. Authorizes the SBA to establish: (1) the SBA Secondary Market Lending Authority; and (2) the SBA Secondary Market Guarantee Authority. Authorizes the SBA to refinance: (1) SBA and non-SBA loans made to small businesses; and (2) loans made under the SBA's local development business loan program. Provides increased SBA loan leverage and investment limits.
Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009 to: (1) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); (2) the Department of the Interior; (3) the Environmental Protection Agency; (4) the Department of Agriculture; (5) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); (6) the Smithsonian Institution; (7) the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities; (8) the National Endowment for the Arts; (9) the Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration; and (10) the Department of Health and Human Services.
Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to extend employment eligibility confirmation pilot programs (including the E-Verify basic pilot program).
Directs the Commissioner of Social Security and the Secretary of Homeland Security to enter into a fiscal year agreement to provide funds to the Commissioner for the full costs of such programs in quarterly advances.
Requires that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct studies regarding: (1) erroneous tentative nonconfirmations under the E-Verify program; and (2) the effects of such program on small entities.
Amends the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to revise the exclusion from the meaning of "employee in the recreational marine industry" of any individuals employed to repair a recreational vessel or to dismantle any part of it in connection with its repair.
Establishes a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to invest in the infrastructure necessary to allow for and promote the electronic exchange and use of health information for each individual in the United States, consistent with the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Makes supplemental appropriations available to the Department of Education for: (1) education of the disadvantaged; (2) impact aid; (3) school improvement programs; (4) innovation and improvement activities; (5) special education; (6) rehabilitation services and disability research; (7) certain student financial assistance programs, as well as federal administrative expenses for such programs; (8) teacher quality partnership grants; (9) the Institute of Education Sciences; and (10) school modernization, renovation, and repair.
Sets the maximum individual Pell Grant amount at $4,860 for award year 2009-2010.
Establishes grant programs for the modernization, renovation, and repair of: (1) public elementary and secondary school facilities; and (2) higher education facilities that are primarily used for instruction, research, or student housing.
Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase the amount authorized and appropriated for Pell Grants for FY2009-FY2010.
Increases annual and aggregate student loan limits under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.
Alters, on a temporary basis, the formula for calculating special allowance payments made to FFEL lenders to compensate them for the difference between FFEL interest rates and market rates.
Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009 to: (1) the Corporation for National and Community Service; (2) the National Service Trust; (3) the Social Security Administration (SSA); (4) the DOD; (5) the Department of Veterans Affairs; (6) the Department of State; (7) the Department of Transportation; and (8) the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Sets forth maintenance of effort and reporting requirements for a state or its agency awarded funds appropriated in this Act for a covered program.
Establishes loan limits for calendar 2009 for: (1) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA); (2) the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae); (3) the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); and (4) the FHA reverse mortgage.
Establishes a State Stabilization Fund which the Secretary of Education is to use to provide grants to states: (1) to restore state funding for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; (2) to supplement school improvement funds provided to local educational agencies (LEAs) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and (3) for public safety and other government services.
Reserves a portion of such Fund for: (1) awarding grants to states that make significant progress in addressing inequities in teacher distribution, establishing longitudinal education data systems, and improving educational assessments; and (2) establishing an Innovation Fund to award states, Leas, and schools that make significant progress in closing student achievement gaps.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow through 2010 a refundable tax credit for the lesser of 6.2% of earned income or $500 ($1,000 for married couples filing jointly); (2) allow through 2010 increases in the earned income tax credit, the refundable portion of the child tax credit, and the Hope Scholarship tax credit; (3) allow a waiver of the the first-time home buyer tax credit repayment requirement for residences purchased after December 31, 2008, and before July 1, 2009; (4) extend through 2009 bonus depreciation and the increased expensing allowance for depreciable business assets; (5) extend from two to five years the carryback period for net operating losses; and (6) allow a work opportunity tax credit for certain unemployed veterans and disconnected youth hired in 2009 or 2010.
Limits the applicability of Treasury Notice 2008-83 (suspending restrictions on the offset of net operating losses and unrealized built-in losses against the taxable income of certain corporate entities that acquire or merge with other entities) to periods prior to January 16, 2009.
Suspends in 2009 or 2010 certain limitations on the tax deduction allowed to financial institutions for interest expense related to investments in tax-exempt bonds. Exempts interest earned on tax-exempt private activity bonds from the alternative minimum tax.
Allows a new tax credit for investment in bonds for the construction, rehabilitation, or repair of public school facilities or for the acquisition of land for building a public school facility.
Increases in 2009 and 2010 the issuance limitation for qualified zone academy bonds.
Allows state or local governments to elect to receive direct federal payments equal to tax credit amounts for investment in tax-exempt bonds issued in 2009 and 2010.
Allows a new tax credit for investment in recovery zone economic development and recovery zone facility bonds issued in 2009 and 2010.
Repeals the 3% withholding requirement on payments by federal, state, or local governmental entities to individuals who provide property or services to such entities.
Extends the tax credit for the production of electricity from wind facilities (through 2012) and from other renewable facilities (through 2013). Allows an election to claim an investment tax credit for renewable facilities placed in service in 2009 or 2010.
Repeals limitations on the investment tax credit for energy property financed by subsidized energy financing or industrial development bonds.
Increases the limitation amount on the issuance of new clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds.
Modifies and extends through 2010 the tax credit for improvements to energy-efficient residences.
Increases through 2010 the tax credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property expenditures.
Increases through 2010 the tax credit for qualified energy research expenses.
Requires the application of certain federal labor standards to projects financed with clean renewable energy and conservation bonds, zone academy bonds, school construction bonds, and recovery zone economic development bonds.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to make grants in 2009 to states for low-income housing projects in lieu of low-income housing credit allocations.
Directs the Secretary of Energy to make grants in 2009 or 2010 in lieu of tax credits to investors in specified energy property (e.g., renewable energy property, fuel cell property, solar property, wind energy property, geothermal property, microturbine property, combined health and power system property, and geothermal heatpump property).
Directs the Comptroller General to submit a report to the House Committee on Ways and Means on the economic, employment, and other effects of this Act.
Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act - Amends the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.
Provides for federal-state agreements for increased regular unemployment compensation payments to individuals.
Requires federal payments to states to cover 100% of such additional payments.
Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 - Provides for payment of a portion of an individual's premiums for any COBRA continuation coverage (health insurance continuation benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).
Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, and the Public Health Service Act to allow COBRA coverage to continue past required termination dates for an employee who has attained age 55 or has completed ten or more years of service.
Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to allow states to provide coverage to individuals who are receiving unemployment compensation benefits or who have exhausted such benefits.
Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act or the HITECH Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Sets forth provisions governing the development and adoption of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information.
Amends SSA title XVIII (Medicare) to establish incentive payments for certain eligible physicians and hospitals that adopt and use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology meaningfully, beginning in FY2011.
Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to establish incentive payments to encourage the adoption and use by Medicaid providers of qualified electronic health records.
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program to enhance the meaningful use of certified electronic health records in nursing facilities.
Sets forth provisions governing the privacy and security of health information, including requiring notifications for any breach of protected health information.
Prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from phasing out or eliminating the budget neutrality adjustment factor in the Medicare hospice wage index before October 1, 2009. Requires the Secretary to recompute and apply the final index for FY2009 as if there had been no reduction in the budget neutrality adjustment factor.
Provides for non-application of the phased-out indirect medical education adjustment factor for FY2009.
Makes technical corrections to the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 with respect to long-term care hospitals.
Establishes a temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) with respect to Medicaid payments, as well as payments under SSA title IV part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance), for FY2009-FY2011 for eligible states, with optional FMAP increases authorized for specified U.S. territories.
Extends from March 31, 2009, through June 30, 2009, the current moratoria on implementation of specified Medicaid and SCHIP regulations relating to cost limits for government-operated providers, the integrity of the federal-state Medicaid financial partnership, graduate medical education (GME) payments, Medicaid provider taxes, rehabilitative services, optional state plan case management services, and school-based administration and school-based transportation services.
Imposes a moratorium through June 30, 2009, on implementation of a final regulation published on November 7, 2008, relating to Medicaid outpatient hospital services.
Extends transitional medical assistance (TMA) from June 30, 2009, through December 31, 2010.
Gives states the option of providing, during a presumptive eligibility period, Medicaid coverage for family planning services and supplies to individuals who are not pregnant and whose income does not exceed the highest income eligibility level for pregnant women established under the state's Medicaid or SCHIP programs.
Prohibits state Medicaid programs from imposing cost-sharing requirements on Indians or Alaska Natives when the beneficiary is receiving an item or service directly from an Indian health care provider or through referral from a Contract Health Services provider.
Amends SSA title XI to repeal establishment of the National Commission on Children. Directs the Secretary of HHS to maintain within the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services a Tribal Technical Advisory Group.
Prescribes a temporary increase in state allotments for payments to Medicaid disproportionate share (DSH) hospitals.
Requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop and maintain a map showing where broadband service is deployed and available in each state.
Provides for grants for wireless deployment and broadband deployment.
Requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report on a national broadband plan.
Makes technical corrections to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).
Revises requirements with respect to smart grid regional demonstration initiatives.
Instructs the Secretary of Energy to establish a smart grid information clearinghouse.
Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the Secretary of Energy to make loan guarantees for rapid deployment before FY 2012 of renewable energy and electric power transmission projects.
Amends the Energy Conservation and Production Act to increase the income eligibility level for the Weatherization Assistance Program, as well as the maximum amount of financial assistance.
Instructs the Secretary to include specified analyses within the 2009 National Electric Transmission Congestion Study.
Sets forth conditions for additional grants under the State Energy Program.
Why Did This Happen?
Stimulus: The Power of Names
Wasteful pork in the Obama “stimulus” bill
Big Business and the Stimulus
Why politicians benefit from destroying jobs
Government is not the panacea for an ailing economy
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