The WPA and Federal Relief Policy

By Donald S. Howard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE WPA: WORK AUTHORIZED AND UNDERTAKEN

TYPES OF PROJECTS the WPA may or may not undertake from year to year have been specified by Congress. Projects which may be undertaken in one year may be forbidden in another. Conversely, projects which the WPA was not authorized or was thought by responsible officials not to be authorized to prosecute in one year have subsequently been approved.


PERMISSIBLE PROJECTS

Permissible projects prescribed by Congress have been defined only in broad categories, contrasting sharply with older "pork barrel" legislation, which normally listed individual projects in specified localities, and fairly bristled with local interests. The difference between the past and the present is vividly portrayed by comparing authorizations written into the ERA Act, fiscal year 1941,1 for example, with the detailed listing by state, county, and town of some 80 pages of individual projects incorporated in

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1
Authorizations included in the ERA Act, fiscal year 1941, as amended, permitted prosecution of projects of the following types: "Highways, roads, and streets; public buildings; parks, and other recreational facilities, including buildings therein; public utilities; electric transmission and distribution lines or systems to serve persons in rural areas, including projects sponsored by and for the benefit of nonprofit and cooperative associations; sewer systems, water supply, and purification systems; airports and other transportation facilities; flood control; drainage; irrigation, including projects sponsored by community ditch organizations; water conservation; soil conservation, includi2ng projects sponsored by soil conservation districts and other bodies duly organized under State law for soil erosion control and soil conservation, preference being given to projects which will contribute to the rehabilitation of individuals and an increase in the national income; forestation, reforestation, and other improvements of forest areas, including the establishment of fire lanes; fish, game, and other wildlife conservation; eradication of insect, plant, and fungus pests; the production of lime and marl for fertilizing soil for distribution to farmers under such conditions as may be determined by the sponsors of such projects under the provisions of State law; educational, professional, clerical, cultural, recreational, production, and service projects, including training for manual occupations in industries engaged in production for national defense purposes, for nursing and for domestic service; aid to self-help and cooperative associations for the benefit of needy persons; and miscellaneous projects."--Sec. 1 (b).

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