From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
On a day when it was revealed the gross domestic product shrank 0.5% in the third quarter and home sales plunged 8.6%, Vice President-elect Biden promised no earmarks on a potential stimulus package.
"I know it's Christmas, but the package will not become a Christmas Tree," he said, per the pool producer at an event where Biden met with several economic advisers in Washington.
At the table with Biden: Jason Furman, Jeanne Lambrew, Carol Browner, Larry Summers, Melody Barnes, Phil Schiliro and Jared Bernstein.
Biden took two other questions, including one on the economy and one on embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Biden added that the transition's economic team is getting close to an agreement with congressional leaders on the stimulus package, particularly on the scope of the investment, which has been reported to be in the neighborhood of a staggering $850 billion.
Biden was asked if the internal review the Obama transition team is promising to release later today will exonerate the transition team. He said he doesn't think exonerate is the right word, but it will show there was no inappropriate contact with Obama or his staff, per the pool producer.
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Lauren Appelbaum has the exact wording on the "exonerate" question:
Q: Sir, will the Blagojevich report exonerate the transition team?
A: I don't think there's anything to exonerate. There's-- ah --it's been clear that the President-elect has had no contact with Blagojevich and/or anyone on his team that he's asserted, and you'll soon find out in the release today that there has been no inappropriate contact by any member of the Obama staff or the transition team with Blagojevich, and I think the report you'll see will reflect that this afternoon.