It was among the more obscure programs tucked into the 2009 stimulus law, a $145 million Agriculture Department effort to buy easements from landowners to help restore natural floodplains.
But four years later, investigators have found the program was marred by poor performance, as officials skipped land appraisals to speed the spending, overpaid some landowners, failed to stop some destructive activities on the properties and did not restore some lands to their natural state as promised.
In his first State of the Union five years ago, President Barack Obama made the case for his economic stimulus by arguing spend now, gain now. On Tuesday night, expect him to flip that plea when calling for the budget sequester to be put off by closing corporate tax breaks.
Put simply, Obama's argument will now be cut now, suffer now.
And big business, led by the oil industry, has its own message: cut our tax breaks now, and you'll pay later with revenues and jobs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed legislation Tuesday that affords greater protection to federal employees who expose fraud, waste and abuse in government operations.
Capping a 13-year effort by supporters of whistle-blower rights, the new law closes loopholes created by court rulings, which removed protections for federal whistle-blowers. One loophole specified that whistle-blowers were only protected when they were the first to report misconduct.
The law makes it easier to punish supervisors who try to retaliate against the government workers.
U.S. intelligence told President Barack Obama and senior administration officials within 72 hours of the Benghazi tragedy that the attack was likely carried out by local militia and other armed extremists sympathetic to al-Qaida in the region, officials directly familiar with the information told the Washington Guardian on Friday.
The government's fiscal watchdogs have identified more than $5.8 billion in problematic stimulus spending, a figure that dwarfs the election-year statistics the Obama administration is using to tout the integrity of the president's signature economic recovery program, a Washington Guardian review of investigative reports has found.
The government’s chief spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoing, officials say.
The wave of scrutiny more than three years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress early in the Obama administration means the question of how money was managed early in the program is certain to extend well into the next year as many of the current investigations come to conclusion.
At the Republican national convention in Tampa later this month, the party’s stars are certain to trumpet their election-year mantra: the government needs to get out of the business of “picking winners and losers,” particularly in the energy sector.
While President Barack Obama has attacked Mitt Romney for advising businesses that outsourced jobs, many of the executives on the president's own jobs creation council run or advise companies that import cheaper overseas goods instead of buying American alternatives, U.S. trade records show.