Procedures for determining Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates, which must be paid to workers on certain federally funded construction projects, and their vulnerability to the use of inaccurate data have long been an issue for Congress, employers, and workers. In this report, GAO examined (1) the extent to which the Department of Labor (Labor) has addressed concerns regarding the quality of the Davis-Bacon wage determination process, and (2) additional issues identified by stakeholders regarding the wage determination process.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) aims to promote economic recovery, make investments, and minimize or avoid reductions in state and local government services. As of February 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the act will cost $821 billion in spending and tax provisions through 2019. The Recovery Act provided the Department of Energy (DOE) more than $41.7 billion--$35.2 billion for projects and activities and $6.5 billion in borrowing authority--in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental cleanup.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) appropriated $8 billion for high and conventional speed passenger rail. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), within the Department of Transportation (the department), was responsible for soliciting applications, evaluating them to determine program eligibility and technical merits, and selecting awards, which were announced in January 2010.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) was enacted to help older adults remain in their homes and communities. In fiscal year 2008, about 5 percent of the nation's adults 60 and over received key aging services through Title III of the OAA, including meals and home-based care. In fiscal year 2010, states received $1.4 billion to fund Title III programs. Studies project large increases in the number of adults who will be eligible for services in the future and likely government budget constraints.
Concerns about the weak economy, congestion in the transportation system, and the potentially harmful effects of air emissions generated by the transportation sector have raised awareness of the potential benefits and costs of intercity passenger and freight rail relative to other transportation modes such as highways.
While the new Republican House seems obsessed with cutting federal spending back to pre-stimulus levels, it can be easy to forget that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is still spending money.