Treasury and NASA Loosen Their Purse Strings
Update (Oct. 5, 5:51 PM): Lori Irving, a spokewoman for the Department of Transportation, told us that the department’s reporting system was shut down last week due to the changing of the fiscal year. She said that regular reporting will resume next week. Meanwhile, Department of Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Josephine Schuda said the drop in reported spending at her department comes from the decision to report $43 million in stimulus money as coming from the Department of Defense, rather than Veterans Affairs. We have changed our headline accordingly.
Federal agencies spent some $4.5 billion in stimulus money over the last week, and obligated another $4.5 billion, according to our updated Stimulus Progress Bar. But the progress is uneven. Winners for the week include the Treasury Department, which nearly doubled the amount of stimulus dollars it’s paid out, from $646 million to $1.2 billion; and NASA, a slow stimulus spender, which increased the money it’s paid out by a third, from $18 million to $27 million.
Near the back of the pack was the Department of Transportation, which has reported essentially no new spending since the last time we checked, a week ago. But the prize for slowest spending last week might go to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which actually reported a decrease in the amount of stimulus money it’s paid out. Last week, the department had paid out some $532 million, according to Recovery.gov; as of today, the figure was just $497 million. We’ve called both departments to ask whiat happened; we’ll post a response once (if) one arrives.
Check out our Stimulus Progress Bar for details.
Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.