Use Stimulus As Intended or We’ll Embarrass You, Biden Says

February 25, 2009 - 12:29 PM
If states don't use federal stimulus money as intended, the Obama administration may take the money back or launch a public campaign to embarrass them, Joe Biden says.<br />
Washington (AP) -  Vice President Joe Biden is warning that if states don't use federal stimulus money as intended, the Obama administration may take the money back or launch a public campaign to embarrass them.
 
Biden, appearing Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," will be overseeing implementation of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan. Biden says the money "cannot be squandered" and warns that states will be held accountable for what they do with the money.
 
Some Republican governors have criticized the plan as wasteful and several have said they may reject some of the funds.
 
If states don't use the money as intended, Biden says the government in some cases can withdraw the money. In other cases, he says, the government may "use the television and the radio and the media to embarrass them for them not doing what they're supposed to do."
 
In his speech to Congress Tuesday night, President Obama addressed skeptics of his economic stimulus plan, admitting that good intentions often turn into broken promises in Washington.
 
He said it will take “enormous responsibility” to make sure the stimulus plan is done right, and then he painted Vice President Biden as his enforcer: “That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe.”