U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat who represents the 4th Congressional District, discussed in a Q&A how the stimulus plan could benefit his district, which is composed of Orange, Durham, and parts of Wake and Chatham counties. Here's an excerpt from my interview with Price. We talked on the day that the $787 billion plan was signed into law. The full interview will run this Wednesday in The Chapel Hill News. Price said specific projects in the district were not named in the bill. He said Congress decided not to allow the use of so-called earmarks to designate how the money would be spent.
Q: How will the money get from Washington to the Triangle?
PRICE: In a number of ways. Some of the money will come directly to individuals. For example, extended unemployment insurance, expanded Pell grants, food stamps, small busines loans, premium subsidies for health insurance between jobs - COBRA health insurance. So that's one way - through individuals.
A lot of the money will come through established channels by formulas, to the states or to localities. For example, the Medicaid support for the states will go out to the states according to a formula which incorporates the number of Medicaid beneficiaries. The highway infrastructure money for the states will go out according to the regular formula. School construction money will go to individual school districts according to their Title 1 allocations. So either localities or states by formula.
And then finally some money will go out by a competitive process where agencies will evaluate applications. For example, there is some additional money in here for National Institutes of Health research, for National Science Foundation research, for building out of broadband. Those are examples of programs where there will be no entitlement, but a competitive process to see what proposals have the greatest merit.