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GSA's $5.5 billion stimulus plan

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Update: The General Services Administration has posted the stimulus plan on its Recovery Act website. The 13-page plan can be accessed here.

Original post: The General Services Administration just announced that it’s decided how it will spend the $5.5 billion in stimulus funds it received.

Congress directed that $4.5 billion go toward converting federal buidlings to high-performance green facilities. Another $750 million is available for building and renovating federal buildings and courthouses, and $300 million must be directed to renovating and constructing land ports of entry.

GSA said it’s selected projects based on the speed at which jobs can be created and hwo much added energy efficiency can be gained. GSA intends to award $1 billion in projects within 120 days and the rest of the work in the next two years, according to a press release issued this afternoon.

Money will be spread out across the country, and every state should see at least one GSA-funded stimulus project, the agency said.

GSA said a detailed plan has been submitted to Congress, several days ahead of the April 2 deadline required by law. We’ll have more details in coming days.

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Recovery Act solicitations hit the street

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Federal agencies are wasting no time advertising new business opportunities created under the economic stimulus package, which became law last Tuesday.

Here is what Federal Times has found on FedBizOpps so far:

  • On Feb. 18, the day after President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Navy issued a solicitation for a $400 million small business construction contract. This multiple award contract will be awarded to five small businesses. The businesses will be hired to perform new construction, repair, demolition and renovation projects at Navy facilities worldwide. Those projects will be funded through stimulus package appropriations.
  • On Feb. 19, the Air Force issued its own solicitation for HUBZone-certified small businesses that can replace electrical lines. The project is valued anywhere from $1 million and $5 million and is funded under the recovery act. 
  • The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health, issued its own stimulus-related solicitation on Feb. 20. That stimulus-funded opportunity calls on researchers to submit proposals about new approaches to make “quantum improvements” in treating alcoholism.
  • The Agriculture Department technically doesn’t have any projects posted yet, but that hasn’t stopped it from gathering more information in anticipation of Forest Service projects funded by the stimulus package.  On Feb. 18, the Forest Service Lake States Acquisition Team issued a notice asking for updated information on architecture and engineering contractors in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Office of Management and Budget has ordered agencies to post all stimulus-related opportunities on FedBizOpps, whether they’re for work that will be awarded under new contracts or existing contracts, such as the General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedules. Stimulus projects must be tagged “Recovery” for easy searching, although it appears from the solicitation notices above, some agencies are still getting used to that idea.

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Vilsack: Modernize USDA IT, Work Force

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said modernizing agency information technology systems and addressing the aging work force will be top priorities for him.

He said during a teleconference earlier today:

It is important to me that the USDA be also a place of a modern workforce and a modern workplace. We’ll be focusing on IT improvements, process improvements and an empowered and diverse workforce to make that happen.”

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House Appropriations Approves Stimulus Plan

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It took several hours but the House Appropriations Committee passed its economic stimulus package last night in a 35 to 22 vote. The vote means the bill will likely make it to the House floor by Jan. 28. Committee chairman Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wisc., has said he hopes the bill will pass the Senate before the Presidents’ Day break.

Among the amendments added to the original bill:

  • $150 million to purchase commodities for food banks.
  • An extension of the authorization for the controversial E-Verify program for five years.
  • A mandate that iron and steel used in construction projects funded by the bill be made in the United States.
  • A requirement for contractors to pay their employees a prevailing wage.
  • A provision to prevent Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich from directing the use of funds.

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Obama's To-Do List

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What’s the first thing on the new president’s to-do list today? Barack Obama told ABC News’ Robin Roberts at the Neighborhood Ball last night:

We’ll be making a series of announcements both on domestic and on foreign policy that I think will be critical for us to act swiftly on. We’re not going to be able to delay — there have been a lot of things that have been pressing.  Fortunately, we’ve seen Congress immediately start working on the economic recovery package — getting that passed and putting people back to work, that’s going to be the thing that we’re most focused on.

On FedLine’s to-do list, keeping an eye on what those announcement are and reporting them to you.

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A billion here, a billion there…

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As construction spending nationwide continues to decline, many builders are hoping for a big boost thanks to the economic stimulus package being drafted in Congress.

Details of the massive package — likely to total $750 billion or more — haven’t been fleshed out, but billions no doubt will be included to fund construction of new homes, offices, roads and utilities.

With that in mind, the Associated General Contractors of America has just released a detailed summary of how $1 billion in new construction spending would benefit each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the nation at a whole.

Nationwide, for example, $1 billion in nonresidential construction spending would boost the national economy (as measured by the Gross Domestic Product) by $3.4 billion and create or sustain 28,500 jobs.  When multipled by the many tens of billions likely to be included in the stimulus package, it’s clear that the upfront spending on construction projects would pay out big dividends across the board.

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