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Inside ARRA - More on the Opportunity for TBED

January 28, 2009

A party-line vote may be all the President can get as the House of Representatives is poised to vote on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 (ARRA). That vote would be enough, though, to advance the $825 billion plan into the Senate, which is considering its own version of the bill this week.

While some changes are being proposed to the House version of the bill to accommodate interests of some Republicans, those measures directly affecting economic development goals of local and state TBED practitioners appear secure.

There has been considerable debate as to how fast ARRA funds can move through the federal, state and local bureaucracies before it is transformed into real projects and programs, but most agree the funding has to be approved by Congress before the clock even starts ticking on how quickly the economy feels its impact.

ARRA is enormous but here are some of the TBED-supporting measures included in the 647-page legislation as passed by the House Appropriations Committee (the full text is available at: http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hr1_text.pdf).

Department of Agriculture

  • Rural Community Facilities Program -$100 million
  • Rural Business Program -$100 million, including $13 million for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program to "encourage the development of small and emerging private business enterprises" and $87 million for business and industry guaranteed loans.
  • Rural Broadband Infrastructure Development - $2.825 billion. Funding will be "strongly oriented towards grants to provide the maximum incentive for providing broadband in unserved areas."

Department of Commerce

  • Economic Development Administration - additional $250 million (more than doubling the amount of funding available in FY09 for local and regional economic development projects, which have included research park infrastructure and incubator/accelerator facilities, as well as community improvement projects.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership - $30 million
  • Technology Innovation Program - $70 million for new grants
  • State Broadband Data and Development Grants - $350 million for competitive grants to develop and implement statewide initiatives to identify and track the adoption and availability of broadband services.
  • Wireless Broadband Development for Unserved and Underserved Areas -$2.825 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to subsidize deployment of broadband and wireless. Grantees must "adhere to open access principles."


  • Science funding - $400 million for earth science/climate research missions, total solar irradiance sensor, and a thermal infrared sensor for the Landsat Continuing Mapper.
  • Aeronautics - $150 million for investments in environmentally-friendly or green aviation, supersonic testbeds, and development of aerospace systems and technologies.

National Science Foundation

  • Research and Related Activities - $2.5 billion to restore the NSF funding rate for proposals to pre-2000 levels. Includes $300 million for the Major Research Instrumentation program and $200 million to restart its facilities program that supports physical and other sciences and engineering.
  • Education and Human Resources - $100 million, including $60 million for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships to encourage more STEM majors to pursue K-12 teaching careers and $40 million for the Math & Science Partnerships, also targeted to K-12 STEM education.

Department of Defense

  • Defense Energy Research - $350 million for research, development, test and evaluation projects for improvements in energy generation, transmission, regulation, storage and use on military installations from alternative and renewable energy sources.

Department of Energy

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment - $2 billion including $800 million for biomass projects, $400 million for geothermal activities and projects and $800 million for base program activities.
  • Industrial Energy Efficiency - $500 million for a waste energy recovery incentive program.
  • Grants to Institutional Entities for Energy Sustainability and Efficiency - $1 billion to identify, design and implement sustainable energy infrastructure projects and grants for energy efficiency innovative technologies. Institutions include higher education, public schools, local governments and municipal utilities. An additional $500 million would be available for loan guarantees.
  • Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants - $3.5 billion for state and local governments to implement strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions and reduce total energy use.
  • State Energy Program - $3.4 billion as grants to states and direct funding to state energy offices to address energy priorities and adopt emerging renewable energy technologies.
  • Alternative Fueled Pilot Grant Program - $400 million to establish a grant program to encourage, through 30 projects, the use of plug-in electric vehicles or other emerging electric vehicle technologies.
  • Advanced Battery Manufacturing - $1 billion in grants for facility funding to support U.S. manufacturing of advanced vehicle batteries. An additional $1 billion would be available for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee program.
  • Renewable Energy and Transmission Loan Guarantee - $8 billion for a new, temporary loan program to provide loan guarantees for proven renewable energy technologies and transmission technologies. Available through Sep. 30, 2011.
  • Smart Grid Investment Program - $4.5 billion for R&D, pilot projects and matching funds for the program.
  • Fossil Energy - $2.4 billion for demonstration of carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects.
  • Science - $2 billion, including $400 million for ARPA-E, the new Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research.

Small Business Administration

  • Small Business Capital Availability - $430 million for credit subsidy costs and administration of new loan guarantee and direct lending authorities, including guarantees of up to 95 percent of small business loans and refinancing community development loans, and simplifies maximum leverage limits of Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs).

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Brownfields - $100 million to capitalize revolving loan funds and provide low-interest loans, job training grants, and technical assistance to local governments and non-profit organizations.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • University Research Facilities - $1.5 billion for competitive grants by the National Institutes of Health, limited to renovations and repair rather than new construction.
  • NIH Research - $1.5 billion for both competitive grants and intramural research within the Institutes.
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research - $1.1 billion for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Health Information Technology - $2 billion to jumpstart investment in health information technology through the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the HHS Secretary's Office.
  • Pandemic Flu, Biomedical Advanced Research & Development, and Cyber Security - $900 million for preparation and research and advanced development of major threats to public health.

Department of Education

  • Education Technology - $1.0 billion through the Enhancing Education through Technology program that supports state, district and school efforts to integrate technology into curricula.
  • Pell Grants - $15.636 billion to increase the discretionary maximum Pell grant by $500.
  • K-12 Repair and Modernization - $14 billion for school modernization, renovation and repair based on FY08 Title 1 Education allocations.
  • Higher Education Repair and Modernization - $6 billion for university/college modernization, renovation and repair based on a formula in proportion to the State's share of full-time equivalent undergraduate students.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Community Development Block Grants - $1 billion to be distributed through existing formula.