- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden warned states Thursday that if they misuse money from the $787 billion economic stimulus package, they shouldn’t expect more help from the federal government for a long time.

Biden opened a daylong White House conference with state officials aimed at making sure the stimulus funds are spent well.

“If we don’t get this right, folks, this is the end of the ability to convince Congress that anything should go to the states,” he said.

The White House asked each governor to send the state official in charge of stimulus money to learn about programs and initiatives available under the legislation, which Obama signed into law on Feb. 17.

The conference was billed as a way for these officials to propose and discuss ideas for spending the money, as well as to hear from several Cabinet secretaries and other administration officials.

“We are all on the line,” Biden said. “The American people are looking for us to get this right. And you need to do that.”

Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also announced $8 billion in stimulus money to be directed to state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts.

Obama was scheduled to address the gathering later Thursday.

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