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Monday, February 7, 2011

Economic Development Administration: Reauthorization and Funding Issues in the 111th Congress

Oscar R. Gonzales
Analyst in Economic Development Policy

Eugene Boyd
Analyst in Federalism and Economic Development Policy

The 111th Congress considered legislation that would reauthorize and amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act (PWEDA) of 1965, P.L. 89-136 (79 Stat. 552, 42 U.S.C. § 3121). The PWEDA—whose statutory authority expired on September 30, 2008—authorized the creation of the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

EDA’s primary focus is to help regions experiencing long-term economic distress or sudden economic dislocation attract private-sector capital and create higher-skill, higher-wage jobs through investments in public infrastructure, the provision of technical assistance and research, and the development and implementation of comprehensive economic development strategies.

The 112
th Congress may consider legislation to reauthorize the EDA and to appropriate funds for the agency and its programs for FY2012. As part of those deliberations, Congress may decide whether to fund Administration proposals intended to support innovation and competitiveness through the creation of Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) and business incubators. The Obama Administration’s FY2011 budget requested $246 million for EDA programs, including $75 million for RICs. The Administration also requested less funding for the public works program ($68 million) than was appropriated in FY2010 and slightly more funding ($40 million) for salaries and expenses.

This report will discuss EDA reauthorization and appropriations-related issues.

Date of Report: January 24, 2011
Number of Pages: 28
Order Number: R41162
Price: $29.95

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