11 Feb Technology’s fingerprints on the stimulus package
WASHINGTON — To rally support for his administration’s economic recovery bill recently, President Obama invited about a dozen chief executives, seven of them from technology and energy companies, to the Oval Office.
Some of their industries’ top lobbyists, meanwhile, gathered in another office where Jason Furman, a top White House economic adviser, delivered a private briefing for groups expected to benefit most from the stimulus bill.
While much of the sprawling $800 billion legislation consists of tax cuts and broad spending increases for existing programs, like $27 billion on highways and $8.4 billion on public transit, the biggest outlay on initiatives is essentially a technology industry wish list: in the Senate version, about $7 billion for expanding high-speed Internet access, some $20 billion for building a so-called smart grid power network and $20 billion for digitizing health records.
To many on K Street, the stimulus bill was the clearest guide to the new administration’s closest friends in the business world. What oil was to President Bush, some say, clean energy and technology are to the Obama White House.
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