$650 Million for DTV Included in Stimulus Package

A summary of the fed’s proposed $825 billion stimulus package includes $650 million for DTV converters. The document was released today through the office of Rep. Dave Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

“In the next two weeks,” he wrote, “Congress will be considering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009. This package is the first crucial step in a concerted effort to create and save 3 [million] to 4 million jobs, jumpstart our economy and begin the process of transforming it for the 21st century with $275 billion in economic recovery tax cuts and $550 billion inthoughtful and carefully targeted priority investments with unprecedented accountability measures built in.”

The $650 million set aside for DTV converter-box subsidies is included in a section focused on science and technology. Another $6 billion is allocated for grants to provide wireless and broadband service to underserved areas. NASA, a heavy user of video, is targeted for $600 million, two-thirds of it for climate-change research.

Several areas targeted for funding will shore up the auto industry, the TV industry’s biggest, but quickly diminishing, source of revenue. E.g., $2 billion will go toward an Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee and Grant Program for vehicle and other power systems. Another $600 million goes toward replacing government vehicles with newer, fuel-efficient hybrids, and $400 million is flagged to help state and local governments buy alternative-fuel buses and trucks. A $200 million allocation targets the development of electric vehicles.

The economic jumpstart is President-elect Barack Obama, who will be in Bedford Heights, Ohio, tomorrow to meet with workers at the Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co. to discuss the plan.