Oberstar on ‘Use it or Lose It’ Stimulus Provisions
According to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 50 percent of funds provided to states will be required to be obligated within 90 days.
Within 180 days of enactment, states must submit a program of projects outlining how the remaining 50 percent of the projects will be obligated within one year of enactment, according to the committee’s proposal.
On the face of it, this looks good for projects that are in advanced stages of planning but not quite spade-ready — which may answer how to quickly obligate big bucks (by U.S. standards) for transit, passenger rail, and other projects more complicated than road repairs. It also suggests that the $85 billion amount being floated is an amount to be obligated in one calendar year rather than two (or the next one-and-a-half fiscal years).
Meanwhile, John Boehner rounded up his merry band of economists against the stimulus. When the #2 commenter on the (rather low-wattage*) list of skeptics is Donald Luskin, you’re in trouble.
* And as a low-wattage economist myself, I use the term advisedly.