Washington D.c., (PressExposure) March 13, 2009 -- Amidst greater and greater expectation that a second and even bigger stimulus package might be on the way, President Obama and Vice President Biden warned state officials yesterday that they must spend their share of the approved $787 billion wisely, or see it stopped.
Biden, who is overseeing the stimulus package, said the White House will release regulations today (March 13th), that will further restrict how the stimulus money can be spent, "The fact of the matter is all that is legal is not acceptable. A little hint: No swimming pools".
Meanwhile, Obama said at a White House conference relating to the recovery package, "If we see money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it. It's rare where you get your chance to put your shoulder to the wheel of history and put it in a better direction".
Following the conference however, several state officials seemed confused, and said that they failed to understand their intended roles, due to a lack of communication about projects.
Others were disappointed about what they considered was a looming lack of transparency with Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, calling for the General Accounting Office to regularly audit the spending.
"I am deeply concerned by reports that oversight will stop at the state level once a governor designates the federal money to be spent at the local or municipal level," McConnell wrote to the acting comptroller general. "The American taxpayer will benefit from full transparency at each step of the process as these funds are disbursed".
Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed open to the idea of a second stimulus bill, but backtracked yesterday suggesting that she now wants to allow time for the initial package to work, "I really would like to focus on the first one".