Biden says stimulus funds are going out

Feb. 25, 2009 at 1:35 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The $15 billion in federal Medicare funds has been distributed to states to offset their Medicaid expenses, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

The healthcare distribution as well as Housing and Urban Development's plan to award $10 billion for public housing efficiency and lead-based paint removal were announced during the inaugural meeting of the Recovery Act Implementation board led by Biden.

"We have to actually get this money out the door," Biden said as he gaveled the panel to order. "(And) we got to follow the money here in a way that we -- it's working exactly like we intended it to."

Biden said the purpose of Wednesday's meeting was to discuss next steps in implementing the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Peter Orszag, director of the non-partisan Office of Management and Budget, said, the Web site where visitors can track the distribution of the stimulus funds, is receiving 3,000 hits per second, "which I think underscores the interest in the accountability and transparency surrounding this endeavor."

Orzag said the two goals are to spend stimulus money "quickly" and "wisely," adding, "We have to go beyond normal procedures to a higher level of transparency."

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