“Sheriff Joe” Biden Touts Recovery Act Success — and Hands Over His Badge

By Jaketapper

Feb 17, 2011 5:38pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: The Obama Administration may not have marked the anniversary of the Recovery Act with the same fanfare as last year, but Vice President Biden still touted its success and defended the way it has been enacted and managed. “Through the Recovery Act, we've proved that the government can move quickly and get the job done and do it right,” Biden said. “We're going to need to follow these lessons in future budget and implementation efforts if we're going to live up to what we've done in Recovery Act.” Vice President Biden spoke at a meeting with members of the president’ Cabinet, including Education Secretary Shaun Donovan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Biden has been the Recovery Act’s head cheerleader for the past two years and even staked his own job on its success, declaring that “if it fails, I’m dead.” Today the vice president reiterated that the stimulus funding did exactly what the Obama White House intended: stabilize the economy, stimulate long-term growth and kick-start projects across the nation. “The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to bring back the economy,” Biden said – a familiar refrain from the vice president over the past two years. He emphasized that the White House never claimed the stimulus would fix everything. Secretary LaHood was blunt: “The stimulus program has worked, I don’t care what anybody has said.” Vice President Biden patted himself and his stimulus team on the back, citing the low number of fraud incidents in the stimulus money disbursement. “Any fraud — any fraud — is a problem, but it's less than 1 percent — less than 1 percent of all the money out there that's been distributed,” he said. Biden also said today that Sheriff Joe is hanging up his badge, passing on the responsibility of managing the remaining Recovery Act funds to OMB Director Jack Lew, who he deemed a “more than capable successor.” “‘Sheriff Jack's’ going to be doing this from this point on,” the vice president said. “Seeing as he just released the budget Monday, I figured he needed something new to do, because he's got that done now.” “Jack, congratulations, man. You got my badge.  It's all yours,” Biden joked.
 
“I will take the badge proudly, and the title,” Lew responded.

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