Funds going to districts of key lawmakers

ost of the $2.2 billion in economic stimulus money for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects will be spent in the home districts of members of Congress who oversee the corps’ funding, a USA TODAY analysis found.
Two-thirds of the money will be spent in states or districts represented by members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that direct how the Corps of Engineers spends its money, the analysis found. The corps is spending its stimulus money on construction projects in 43 states for building or fixing water and sewer lines, dams, reservoirs, levees and harbors.

President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress say the $787 billion stimulus package didn’t contain any money for projects requested by members of Congress. However, the stimulus law directs the corps to spend its extra funding on current projects — which were all selected by Congress in past spending bills.

The states getting the most money — California, Mississippi, Illinois, Texas and Florida — all have lawmakers serving on the appropriations committees. The seven states getting no corps stimulus funding include Michigan, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate but no members on the energy and water spending panels in either chamber.

USA Today
6/23/9