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Biden warns states to spend wisely

From NBC's Athena Jones
Vice President Biden -- whom President Obama put in charge of overseeing the implementation of the stimulus package -- told the 49 out of 50 states represented at a White House conference this morning that they must spend stimulus money wisely, or risk losing help from the federal government in the future.

His tough talk seemed meant to show that, as Obama said at his recent address to Congress, "nobody messes with Joe."

"This is a crisis," Biden told the states. "It requires the exercise of discipline accountability and transparency like nothing we've ever done... I'm not kidding about that."

He continued, "The work you're doing is gonna be critical to the economic well being of the country. If we don't get this right, folks, this is the end or our ability to convince the Congress that anything should go to the states."

More from the vice president: "If six months from now, if the verdict on this effort is we've wasted money, we've built things that are unnecessary, we've done things that were legal but made no sense, then folks, don't look for help from the federal government for a long while."

Biden also said that Obama would be announcing regulations for spending recovery money on Friday. "You're gonna see regulations announced Friday by the president with me ... about things you'd ordinarily spend money on ... but won't be able to

"Here's a little hint," he added," no swimming pools in this money."