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White House: Coburn Stimulus Report "Flat Out Wrong"

The White House responded to Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) critical look at the stimulus program, calling the conservative senator's report "flat out wrong."

The administration has released a point-by-point rebuttal to the 100 so-called wasteful projects that Coburn sited. In some cases, it outlines a claim as "FALSE," or more often, there is a detailed response defending the project or explaining how errors were corrected. On some of the more controversial expenditures, like the $800,000 allocated for repaving a backup runway at John Murtha Airport, the report says simply that the project is "still under review."

"This President has taken historic steps to ensure that there is adequate transparency, and that this money is spent the way it's intended to be used," press secretary Robert Gibbs said today. "I think the report appears to be, in many, many cases, just flat out wrong."

Ed DeSeve, a senior advisor to the president for Recovery Act Implementation, concedes in a statement that among 20,000 projects approved, "there are bound to be some mistakes." "When we find them, we have been transparent about it, and worked on a bipartisan basis to shut them down immediately," he said.

DeSeve adds that if there are "problematic projects" in Coburn's report, they will be addressed "immediately."

"But much of this seems to be little more than an objection to the Recovery Act itself, which Sen. Coburn opposed. As state officials in Sen. Coburn's own home state have noted, 'We have people working today who would not have jobs if the stimulus package hadn't passed,'" he said.