2009-03-05 / Local & State

Shuster Urges Transparency In Spending Stimulus Funds

Requests information for constituents

Tuesday Congressman Bill Shuster sent a letter to President Obama and Gov. Rendell urging transparency and accountability in the distribution of tax dollars from the stimulus bill and requesting information on behalf of his constituents interested in applying for stimulus funding.

Shuster sent the letters to Obama and Rendell after receiving a number of calls and letters from constituents, organizations, and local governments asking how they could apply for stimulus funding and whether mechanisms are in place to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.

"There are real concerns being expressed from my constituents and they must be answered," Shuster said. "Government is entrusted to be good stewards of the public trust. Transparency in such a massive spending bill is a critical part of that trust and cannot be ignored."

Currently, there is no clearinghouse for information related to stimulus funding, and Congress will play no role in directing funding to specific projects. Groups and local governments interested in accessing stimulus funds have no centralized place to turn for the information they need. Additionally, there is no one place for concerned citizens to go to watch how and where their tax dollars are being spent.

Shuster believes a system must be put in place to make absolutely sure that his constituents and the American public can see how their tax dollars are being used. Also, that system should be able to connect the federal government with groups that could use the stimulus funding destined for Pennsylvania.

"President Obama crammed the stimulus through Congress by constantly reminding the American people that without it, our economy may not recover," Shuster said. "The constant drum beat of urgency forced Congress to act hastily on a spending bill that will have historic repercussions on our future. President Obama has the stimulus he wanted. Now it's time for America to have some answers."

Copies of Shuster's letters will be posted to his Web site at www.house.gov/shuster. For more information, contact Jeff Urbanchuk.

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