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Call for Fixed-Price Stimulus Contracts Lost on Federal Agencies

Jason Wachter/ProPublica Today's roundup of stimulus coverage:

More than half of all stimulus contracts awarded so far are "cost-type" contracts, even though the administration told federal agencies in February to aggressively avoid this type of risky agreement, Government Executive reports. Of the $10.18 billion in stimulus contracts obligated as of Aug. 28, 53 percent are cost-type contracts, in which the government commits to reimburse the contractor for allowable costs. Language in the Recovery Act directs agencies to utilize fixed-price contracts (in which the contractor assumes the bulk of the risk for running over cost) "to the maximum extent possible."

USA Today reports that "more than $3.1 billion in stimulus money for state unemployment insurance programs is sitting in a federal trust fund because 23 states haven't expanded their jobless benefits." Some states have declined to change their systems on the grounds that doing so would force them to raise taxes to keep paying for expanded benefits once the stimulus runs out. "If the federal government really wanted to help us, they would have sent those dollars down without any strings attached," a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.

Grover Norquist, president of anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, turned up the rhetorical dial on Monday, saying on MSNBC that future attorneys general should investigate spending decisions under the stimulus. Norquist's comments came in response to Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to investigate allegations of CIA abuse during the Bush administration.

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