Geithner defends economic plan on Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. While the stock market was having another good day, /*President Barack Obama*/ and his administration were having another difficult one. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate went after the president's plans for the economy.

As the economy continues to limp along, house Republicans unloaded on the Obama administration and congressional Democrats for their handling of the economy.

"The house is on fire, the financial crisis is at our doorstep," said /*Rep. Paul Ryan*/ (R-Wis.).

"Everything that has been tried so far hasn't worked," said House Republican Leader /*John Boehner*/ (R-Ohio).

But the administration insists their moves will pay off. At Thursday's stimulus implementation conference, the vice president assured Americans: that there will be no waste.

"Just because it may be legal, it is not acceptable," said /*Vice President Joe Biden*/. "Little hint: No swimming pools in this money."

Meantime /*Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner*/ found himself in a battle Thursday, defending President Obama's budget before Democrats and Republicans alike. The senators on the budget committee questioned Geithner's past decisions.

"Just look back at what happened in the fall," said Geither.

"I did, I disagreed completely with what you did," said /*Sen. Jim Bunning*/ (R-Kentucky).

They questioned the administration's future budget outlook.

"There's no discipline there," said /*Sen. Judd Gregg*/ (R-N.H.).

They questioned Geithner's honesty.

"Your statement today is a disappointment," said /*Sen. Jeff Sessions*/ (R-Ala.). "I don't think it's an honest and responsive appraisal of the conditions that we are facing today. You need to get out of the campaign mode."

Geithner declined to return the harsh rhetoric. But he insisted the Obama administration deserves credit for responding to a historic crisis.

"You have not seen a government move this quickly to address a crisis of this magnitude ever before," said Sec. Geithner. "Remember, it's been roughly six weeks since I took office."

Come Thursday the president is expected to roll out new rules on how states, including California, will be allowed to spend stimulus funds they are receiving, and there will be an emphasis on cost-effectiveness and transparency.


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