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Morning Cup: Stimulus Hearing and Palin’s Backtracking

benderbending/Flickr; Krista Kjellman/ProPublicaThis is the latest from our stimulus blog.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is holding a hearing this morning to take stock of the stimulus bill, 10 weeks into its implementation. The hearing's agenda (PDF) highlights the administration's progress, most of which will be familiar to our regular readers:

  • As of April 17, 48 states and territories had received approval for 2,163 projects totaling $6.7 billion, nearly a quarter of the appropriated highway money.
  • The Federal Railroad Administration outlined its plan for doling out $8 billion for high-speed rail.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has announced more than $1 billion in tentative allocations for airport projects. As of April 17, the FAA had approved $7.3 million in improvements.
  • On April 15, the Environmental Protection Agency announced how it will spend $600 million to clean up Superfund sites.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA, are testifying at the hearing, along with the inspector general from DOT and several state officials.

Today is also President Barack Obama's 100th in office. Journalists and bloggers have used the milestone as an excuse to assess the Obama administration so far, and obviously point to the passage of the stimulus bill as a major agenda accomplishment.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she will accept most of the $930 million in stimulus funds available to her state, going back on an earlier decision to turn down a third of the money. Alaska's legislature and the public spoke out in support of taking the money. The Washington Postreports that the only funds Palin will reject now will be about $29 million for a state energy program she says has strings attached.

Project of the Day: The Little Rock District of the Army Corps of Engineers will receive about $137 million for 57 projects, mostly to repair and modernize  water resources infrastructure in Arkansas and southern Missouri.

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