ABC News' Karen Travers reports: President Obama said last night that he put Vice President Biden in charge of the White House’s oversight effort on the implementation of stimulus funds because “nobody messes with Joe.”
The line got a huge laugh from the Members of Congress in the House Chamber, who are familiar with the loquacious Blue Hen from his decades as a senator from Delaware, and made Biden grin and blush in his seat behind the president.
As he kicks off the first oversight session on the stimulus funds, Biden put states on notice this morning that the White House is not going to sit back and do nothing if stimulus funds are misused.
“In some cases we can withdraw the money we can hold them accountable. And in other places we’ll just use the television, the radio and the media to embarrass them for not doing what their’ supposed to do,” Biden said to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
“We got to make sure this is done by the numbers, man, we gotta make sure people know where the money is going,” Biden said on ABC. “This cannot be squandered. We have an opportunity to get the nation back to work and back on its feet and the first piece of that is generating some economic growth here and we have to do it right.”
Biden defended the Obama Administration from charges that it’s promising too much on the
“The very things that people are saying are the most ambitious are not only need to be solved but are part of the solution, Biden said. “You cannot gain control of our budget deficits without gaining control of health care spending, you cannot gain control over our economy without gaining control of our energy policy and you cannot grow this country without an education policy.”
On NBC’s Today Show Biden fired back at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who delivered the Republican response to Obama’s speech last night. Jindal, who emerged as a leader among governors who said they would reject some of the stimulus funds, called the Democrats were “irresponsible” with the stimulus package and said it would not strengthen the economy or create jobs.
“I hear a lot of criticism but I never hear anything in response – what would you do?,” Biden asked of Jindal.
Biden will be joined by several cabinet members at the oversight meeting in the Roosevelt Room this morning, including:
Accountability Board Chair Earl Devaney Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson Chief of Staff at Health and Human Services Mark Childress Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag