Entries in Recovery Act (4)


House Republicans Look to End Solyndra Loan Program

Ken James/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an attempt to win support from the 48 House Republicans who voted against the stalled stopgap funding bill Wednesday night, the House Republican leadership is considering slashing the remaining $100 million from the loan program that granted a $535-million loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar company.

GOP aides said the Department of Energy loan program cuts would help offset disaster relief funding. The House is expected to vote on the tweaked continuing resolution Thursday evening.

Earlier, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, the loan program was blasted by Republicans for failing to create the jobs President Obama claimed it would when he promoted the Recovery Act program in 2009.

The Republican committee members released a report during the hearing that claimed the $41.7 billion allocated to green initiatives as part of the 2009 Recovery Act “has done little to create jobs or speed recovery.”

“In fact,” the report noted, “by many accounts it has destroyed jobs. This is a dangerous strategy that will drastically increase the price consumers pay for energy, hurt economic growth and restrict job creation.

Democratic committee members fired back with their own report that detailed the number of people currently employed by the green jobs sector in each Republican member’s district along with the federal loans given to green industries within both their district and state as a whole.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Stimulus Will Increase U.S. Deficit More than Originally Estimated

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Recovery Act will raise the U.S. deficit by $830 billion between 2009 and 2019, more than the original estimate of $787 billion, according to a report released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office.

About half of that budget impact occurred in 2010, when most of the stimulus funds were distributed, the report stated.

Despite the hefty burden on the deficit, CBO found that the stimulus continues to have a positive impact on the economy and job growth.

The stimulus raised the U.S. gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2011 by between 1.1 percent and 3.1 percent, and increased the number of people employed by 1.2-3.3 million. The program’s positive effects on employment and the economy, though, are expected to wane through the year, per the report.

CBO’s analysis comes a day after a Government Accountability Office report that found the federal government awarded $24 billion in Recovery Act funds to contractors and vendors who owe more than $750 million in unpaid taxes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Work Is Scarce for Obama's Green Job Training Grads

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Despite new, government-funded green job training programs springing up across the U.S., there's still very few green jobs available for those who manage to graduate from the programs.

According to the most recent data from the BlueGreen Alliance and the Economic Policy Institute, there were 3,586 graduates of Department of Labor-funded green job training programs as of Sept. 30, 2010, but only 466 entered new jobs upon completion of the program.

The program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and geared toward helping unemployed workers, low-income individuals, high school dropouts or people with criminal records.  Stimulus money for green industry training was funneled through the Labor Department, which reports that $490 million out of the $500 million outlined in the Recovery Act has been awarded; most of the grants were awarded in January 2010.

But many of these training programs say the green jobs are not out there.

As of April 15, only 55 out of 304 green job training program graduates from Workforce Connection, a non-profit organization in Ocala, Florida, have found jobs.  And some of those jobs are not even green.  Workforce has spent about half of its $2.9 million grant and is now working with the Labor Department to modify it to focus more on placing graduates in jobs, rather than training.

Asheville Buncombe Christian Ministry, in Asheville, North Carolina, began a green job training program funded by stimulus dollars in March 2010.  As of April 15, ABCCM has placed 51 of its 111 graduates in jobs, not all of them green.

"As far as green jobs are concerned, the jobs are definitely not waiting there for the graduates," said Susan Garrett, ABCCM's Green Jobs Director.

In Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board is seeing mixed results.  Its weatherization training program has had a high job placement rate, with 15 of its 23 graduates being employed, as of April 15.  But out of more than 100 participants in its "Pathways to Green Jobs" basic skills and green jobs training, only 22 are now employed.

LVWIB's executive director, Nancy Dischinat, said the economy has a lot to do with the lack of green jobs, but she remains optimistic.

"At least we have growth potential there.  We have projected openings," said Dischinat, referring to a report produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that projects 41,190 new green jobs by 2012. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


CBO: Effects of Stimulus Spending Are 'Diminishing'

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – The major effects of the initial stimulus plan are wearing off, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and will “wane gradually” during the final months of 2010.
But as stimulus spending continues, the price tag could be higher than expected.

The CBO expects the original price tag of $787 billion to end up closer to $814 billion spent into the economy from 2009-2019.

Overall, however, the CBO concluded that the Recovery Act raised the GDP, lowered unemployment and increased the number of those who are employed.

In just the third quarter, July through September, the CBO said stimulus spending increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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