Radio Actuality

Secretary Salazar Cites Progress Under Recovery Act


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified today before the House Budget Committee that the Department of the Interior is making “swift progress” on making investments and creating jobs using the $3 billion entrusted to Interior under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Topic / Summary / Transcript
Topic: Secretary Salazar says the Recovery Act is working and that investments are being made responsibly.  "We want to insure that taxpayer dollars are not going to waste."
“The Recovery Act is working.  We see it working through the investments that the Department of the Interior is making through the Recovery Act.  Congress entrusted the Department of Interior with the responsibility of investing $3 billion to create jobs, restoring America’s national parks and treasured landscapes, building clean drinking water infrastructure for rural communities, fixing and upgrading aging schools in Indian country, and taking on other critically important projects for the nation.  We are making these investments swiftly on the 18 month timeline established by congress.  We are also making these investments responsibly.  We want to make sure that we get it right, as you would want us to do.  We want to insure that tax payer dollars are not going to waste.”

Topic:Secretary Salazar told the committee that nearly $1.1 billion of recovery act funds will be committed by October.
“Since we released our final list of Recovery Act projects in late April, Interior has obligated $305 million in Recovery Act funding, which we estimate has already created more than 3,000 jobs.  400 projects are already underway.  By the end of October we will have obligated nearly $1.1 billion and in the next six months we expect to obligate another $1 billion.”

Topic: Secretary Salazar says jobs will be created during the next 18 months as the recovery funds are obligated and that it will have a positive economic impact.
“The congress rightfully set forth a longer term program over 18 months to get the money out and so you’ll see jobs created during that time period but also into the future.  In our own process at the Department of Interior we recognize the contracts that we are letting out will have people employed now and into the future, but also there’s a very positive economic impact of these investments because they will create jobs long term.  The kinds of projects that we are investing in are going to create a part of the economic engine for 10, 15, 20 years on down the road, but I think the American people are going to see the affects over the next couple of years in a very significant way.”