Biden: 49 Projects on GOP Senator's Wasteful Spending List Rejected for Stimulus Funding

Vice President Biden fired back Thursday at a Republican senator who accused the Obama administration of engaging in wasteful stimulus spending, saying 49 projects listed by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn as wasteful spending were rejected for funding.

He said another 50 projects on Coburn's list of 100 local projects funded by federal stimulus funds were incorrectly valued.

"Coburn is a good guy...he was just dead wrong," Biden told top Obama administration officials at a Recovery Act Implementation meeting.

"You guys turned down these applications and the other ones, a lot of the remaining 50 or so listed  he just is dead wrong about their value," he said.

"I know I'm a pain in the neck," he said, apparently referring to his role as the overseer of implementing the stimulus funds. "The dog hasn't barked yet. Don't let him bark."

But Coburn's office stood by the list Thursday.

"What's disappointing is the vice president's office is hardly the gold standard on accuracy," Coburn spokesman John Hart told He cited Biden's comments this month that "everyone guessed wrong" on the impact of the economic stimulus in defense of Obama's advisers predicting unemployment would remain at 8 percent if the package was approved.

"It's disappointing that the vice president continues to give a political answer to any criticism of the stimulus program," he said, adding that his claim about the projects being suspended or valued incorrectly is "blatantly false and patently wrong."

Coburn issued the list last week to make the claim that many stimulus projects amount to nothing more than billions of dollars in wasteful spending.

Coburn's list of funded projects included a $3.4 million-dollar underground turtle tunnel in Florida; $1.5 million for a new wastewater treatment plant in Perkins, Okla., that the senator says will result in higher utility costs for local residents; $15 million for "shovel-ready" repairs to "little-used bridges in rural Wisconsin"; and $840,000 to repair a bridge in the state that carries 260 vehicles a day largely to a backwater saloon and a country club.

"If we had funded these suckers, if we had funded this stuff, this whole thing would come to a screeching halt," Biden said. "And so, please I can't emphasize enough, you've done a great job. Keep the fear of God in these folks and let them know it has to pass the legal test and smell test. Swimming pools don't pass smell tests. Skateboard parks don't pass smell tests. So keep it up."

Biden is not the first Obama official to criticize Coburn's list. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last week that several parts of Coburn's report are "inaccurate" and "flat out wrong," and added that some of the projects were cancelled by the administration prior to the report's release.

Coburn responded this week, calling many of the rebuttal points "erroneous."

"More importantly, however, taxpayers should be concerned that the office in charge of overseeing a nearly $1 trillion stimulus program is not welcoming criticism of stimulus projects," Coburn said in a statement.

"For instance, the vice president's office is claiming that none of the 20,000 stimulus projects approved so far is wasteful because all of the wasteful projects were already rejected before they were approved," he said. "If this is true, the vice president's office is the first office in the history of the United States that is batting 1.000 on government spending."

Coburn's report is a compilation of months of research into hundreds of local projects across the nation. In it, he assailed $10 million in federal dollars to renovate "an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years" blasted the use of $3.4 million to build an "eco-passage" -- or wildlife road crossing for turtles and other wildlife -- in Florida.

Coburn said this week that the vice president has yet to specifically dispute the projects highlighted in the report.

"Absent any clarification from the vice president's office, taxpayers can conclude that the administration has no intention of stopping any ongoing questionable stimulus programs such as eco-tunnels for turtles, earmarks for vulnerable Democrats and freezers for fish sperm."

FOX News' Daniela Sicuranza contributed to this report.