Morning Cup: Mixed Roast
This is the latest roundup from our stimulus blog.
The General Services Administration will be in the hot seat today as a subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing on its stimulus progress. The agency is responsible for federal courthouses, ports of entry and a $450 million project to convert an old mental hospital into the new Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
Despite the infusion of tens of billions of dollars into school districts, some in the education community question whether two years is long enough to transform the system. "If you were trying to set the system up to look bad, one good way to do it is to throw an awful lot of money at it -- money it can't possibly absorb in two years -- and then expect that you're going to see changes in student achievement," David Shreve of the National Conference of State Legislatures tells USA Today.
The stimulus has also rekindled a 20-year fight over a proposed $128 million bridge between Stuart and Palm City in south Florida. Critics are using the words "boondoggle," "swindled" and "flabbergasted." According to CNN, another bridge already connects the communities less than three miles away.
Amtrak Joe, aka Vice President Biden, visited his home train station in Wilmington, Del., yesterday to announce $20 million in stimulus funds for renovation. And Stateline.org has a couple of stories on the challenges facing states as they manage $280 billion in stimulus money.
Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.