The President met with the nation's governors at the White House Monday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama announced Monday that cash-strapped state governments will see the first influx of federal stimulus related assistance later this week.
The money, Obama noted at a White House meeting with governors, will be distributed starting Wednesday in the form of more than $15 billion in new Medicaid assistance.
"That means that by the time most of you get home, money will be waiting to help 20 million vulnerable Americans in your states keep their health care coverage," Obama told the governors.
But the money, Obama warned, is "not a blank check" to state governments. The money is "intended to go directly toward helping struggling Americans keep their health care coverage. ... We're going to work with you closely to make sure that this money is spent the way it's supposed to."
The president said he would not hesitate "to call out" state governments that spend the money in a wasteful or inappropriate manner.
Watch: 'We cannot tolerate business as usual,' Obama says
In that vein, Obama announced the appointment of former Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney to head a new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board, to ensure the $787 billion stimulus package is spent in an open, efficient manner.
"Earl has doggedly pursued waste, fraud and mismanagement [and] has the reputation of being one of the best inspector generals that we have in this town," Obama said. "I can't think of any more tenacious and efficient guardian of the hard-earned tax dollars the American people have entrusted us to wisely invest."
Vice President Biden, he added, will oversee the administration's stimulus spending implementation efforts "to make sure our efforts are not just swift, but also efficient and effective."
Updated 1 p.m.
Hey July – at least Ricky can spell the "shoes"
I'm guessing Bernie Madoff!
norb February 23rd, 2009 12:12 pm ET
I wonder who they will appoint to oversee the 13 buck's a week that I'm supposed to get?
Shame on the Republican governors that are planning on refusing the money! Just because it doesn't fit with your politics does not mean your citizens (aka THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED YOU!!!!!!) don't need it.
I'm lucky to live in a Southern state with a governor with OUR interests (aka building schools and hiring teachers, children's health care and the housing market) AT HEART!
"Rick February 23rd, 2009 12:29 pm ET
They should all stand up and throw their shoes at him for his incompetence and mismanagement"
Did they throw their shoes at Bush and you last year?
Hey, non-Typical White Person,
Who's going to build those things you're complaining about? American workers.
And what will they do with the money they earn?
Spend it in stores in America and save it in American banks and pay American taxes to help lower the budget deficit.
Who's going to work in those stores and banks?
And what will they do with the money they earn?
You get the picture, I hope. Stimulus, in case you weren't aware, is the act of getting something started. (My paraphrase, not Webster's definition.) The hope is that once the process gets started, it will feed off of itself and get the whole country back on its feet. Of course it is just a hope at this time, because no one knows what will happen, especially if the Contrarian (Republican) party keeps up its dire predictions. I, for one, am glad that President Obama has done something, because the path we were on sure wasn't working.
BTW, I am a white, married, college-educated, employed American, and the only direct benefit I will probably see from this is $13 extra a week in my paycheck.
Thank you for being the poster child for liberal moonbats. You try to paint anyone who comes up with an alternative to borrowing money we don't have to create a temporary "high" as narrow-minded (translation=bigoted).
Here are some more suggestions for getting through this:
1) suck it up if you lose your job and rely on your savings to get you through while you find another. You don't have savings? Well, whose fault is that? I passed on the plasma TV and fancy cell phone to stash a little away for a rainy day like EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER HEARD ON FINANCIAL PLANNING SAID YOU SHOULD.
2) suck it up if your house is "upside down" for a few years. You bought it to LIVE in and it doesn't matter whether or not the value of the house is less than the loan amount for a while. Your car is worth less than the loan amount the MINUTE you drive it off the lot.
3) suck it up if you lose your house and rent until you can save up enough to buy another one that you can actually afford and DON'T TAKE ANY EQUITY LOANS OUT ON IT UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY PLAN TO REINVEST THAT MONEY IN IMPROVING THE HOUSE!
Now, go ahead and accuse me of political posturing by expecting you to be responsible.
1) suck it up if you lose your job and rely on your savings to get you through while you find another. You don't have savings? Well, whose fault is that? I p@ssed on the plasma TV and fancy cell phone to stash a little away for a rainy day like EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER HEARD ON FINANCIAL PLANNING SAID YOU SHOULD.
I support my Gov. from South Carolina. We do not want the stimulus money, keep our taxes low and let the liberal gov. have the stimulus money. Then when all the liberal states have to go up on there taxes and South Carolina can keep a lower rate our employment percentage will go through the roof with all the industries comming to town, no union and low taxes who could ask for a better place to work!!! I can't wait I will laugh at all the people who wanted the stimulus pork.
Hey, if the Rep. Governors do not want the money for their states, fine!
They should have to take all or none. They should not be allowed to pick and choose. Take their money away and take it off the books. That way this morons who are only thinking of their party can tell the people who voted them in, "let them eat grass".
Rick? Incompetence and mismanagement? I think you have been asleep for a while...a long while. You might need medication. Too much Fox News will make your eyes crossed.
Good, start patching up these pot holes that are all over these torn up streets. Let's see what concrete improvements come out of all of this money.
Yes the governors have to be more responsible than Hussein or congress.Anyone notice that the states with the most financial problems are those with the highest tax rates and the highest levels of private and public sector unionization? Dems don't like to talk about it and its for sure the media is so busy fantasizing about being with Obama in the shower, it won't.
Marty @ the repthug thing is getting a little old, especially when the dems have Blago & Rahm Emmanuel, true thugs on their blotter. Stupid, childlike name calling keeps this devicive thing going and it will turn around and bite you soon.
Memo to President:
Please forward Florida and Alaska's share of stimulus money to my state. In the alternative distribute Florida and Alaska's share of stimulus money directly to their state taxpayers. This way you are honoring the wishes of the governors without punishing the taxpayer.
Did he really say that?
Hillary is still begging China for loads.
Where is the TelePrompter?
Louisiana is predicting an unprecedented (nearly 2 bln) budget shortfall next year and my governor, Gov. Jindal is never home. Travel is a part of any governor's job description, but Gov. Jindal is flying all over America to give speeches to Republicans and to participate in fund raisers. He seems far more interested in his own political future than the future of this state at the moment. Gov Jindal has repeatedly said he is happy with the job he has as Governor of Louisiana. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if that were true, he would be in Louisiana more. Louisiana is in the crapper and it offends me that my governor is out there making headlines and refusing stimulus money. He is putting ideals before the needs of his constituents and his own priorities ahead of the state he was elected to serve. Gov. Jindal should decide whether he wants to be Governor or the next great minority hope of the NRP in 2012.
She is turning out to be the only sane one to skip out on this circus.
the Republicans still just do not get it. We want solutions to the problems facing us. The tax cut only trickle down economics has never worked since introduced by Reagen, another of our worst president and yes a Republican. I can only hope that President Obama will find ways to get things done for us the people regardless of the Republicans obstructionism.
Tulsa L. you are absolutely right. that's why i say, let the republicans talk their way to another losing election. they just look like desperate little kids who have lost a game and are throwing a tantrum.
Thank you Joyce in Indiana! I, too, will only see a few bucks in my paycheck, but I approve of what OUR president is doing. More jobs, safer bridges, better schools will benefit all of us!
Great, I can't wait. Every-time some idiot Republican official rails about how wasteful this or that portion of the package is I can't help but wonder where their fiscal responsibility was when their president thought it would be a great idea to spend 12 million dollars an hour invading and occupying a county that NEVER attacked us. It also makes me wonder if the richest 5% of our nation has enjoyed their tax cut which is where (speaking of fiscal responsibility) our surplus went.
Now, in one of their best efforts at spin they will try to get us to believe that canceling their tax cuts would be a tax increase. I don't buy it and I pray that the nation won't either.