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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coalitions form to track stimulus spending

National Journal Online reports the "growing fiscal oversight craze both on and off Capitol Hill." Thirty groups have "banded together" to create the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery. Another smaller group, Bailout Watch, was spearheaded by OMB Watch. George Mason University has created a "Stimulus Watch" wiki, and House GOP Whip Eric Cantor announced a "stimulus-watch program" encouraging reports on how contractors and agencies spend the $787 billion.

As federal spending on bailouts and the economic stimulus soars into the trillions, the Obama administration faces growing pressure to account for just where all those taxpayer dollars are going.

"To spend that much money that quickly is inviting fraud and abuse," warned Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. Her group is one of 30 that have banded together to form the new Coalition for an Accountable Recovery. It's a diverse alliance of anti-tax activists, community organizers and government transparency watchdogs all tracking the $787 billion stimulus package.

The coalition of strange bedfellows brings together progressives, libertarians and conservatives, noted Gary D. Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, which co-chairs CAR with Good Jobs First, a policy center promoting accountability in economic development. Other coalition members include the Center for Cities and Schools, Public Citizen and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

More here.

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