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Biden vows no pet project in stimulus bill

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Tuesday that the new administration will not allow Washington pork-barrel projects into its planned stimulus spending bill, which the transition team has said could reach nearly $1 trillion.

"We will not tolerate business as usual in Washington, Mr. Biden said as he met with some of President-elect Barack Obama's economic advisors. There will be no earmarks in this economic recovery plan.

"I know its Christmas. I know its the Christmas season. But President-elect Obama and I are absolutely determined that this economic recovery package will not become a Christmas tree, Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Obama and Democrats in Congress are pushing to have a giant spending bill ready for him to sign when he takes office Jan. 20. The goal, they say, is to use government spending to pump money into the ailing economy and create jobs.

Congressional leaders have floated numbers as high as $850 million and the Obama transition team has said the cost could run as high as $1 trillion. The package will fund infrastructure projects throughout the country and "provide a down payment" on a middle-class tax cut, Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden said he and Mr. Obama have set a goal of creating 3 million jobs in four years --already an increase over Mr. Obama's initial announced goal of 2.5 million.

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