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Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2009

GOP governors consider refusing stimulus money

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, joined by legislators, exits a news conference Wednesday at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La. Jindal is considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, joined by legislators, exits a news conference Wednesday at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La. Jindal is considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package.

February 19, 2009

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— A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.

Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.

“My concern is there’s going to be commitments attached to it that are a mile long,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who considered rejecting some of the money but decided Wednesday to accept it. “We need the freedom to pick and choose. And we need the freedom to say ‘No thanks.’”

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, said the governors — some of whom are said to be eyeing White House bids in 2012 — are putting their own interests first.

“No community or constituent should be denied recovery assistance due to their governor’s political ideology or political aspirations,” Clyburn said Wednesday.

In fact, governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language Clyburn included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object.

He inserted the provision based on the early and vocal opposition to the stimulus plan by South Carolina’s Republican governor, Mark Sanford. But it also means governors like Sanford and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal — a GOP up-and-comer often mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate — can burnish their conservative credentials, knowing all the while that their legislatures can accept the money anyway.

Jindal said he, like Perry and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, is concerned about strings attached to the money even though his state faces a $1.7 billion budget shortfall next year.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner, for example, cited concerns that accepting unemployment money from the stimulus package would force states to pay benefits to people who wouldn’t meet state requirements to receive them.

In Idaho, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said he wasn’t interested in stimulus money that would expand programs and boost the state’s costs in future years when the federal dollars disappear — a worry also cited by Jindal and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

A spokesman said Sanford, the new head of the Republican Governors Association, is looking at the stimulus bill to figure out how much of it he can control.

“We’re going through a 1,200-page bill to determine what our options are,” Spokesman Joel Sawyer said. “From there, we’ll make decisions.”

But state Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler says Sanford’s hesitation is driven by his political ambition rather than the best interests of a state that had the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate in December.

“He’s so ideological,” Fowler said. “He would rather South Carolina do without jobs than take that money, and I think he’s looking for a way not to take it.”

Comments

beobachter 5 years, 1 month ago

W is responsible for national recession.

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manus_flexibilis 5 years, 1 month ago

Publicans need to go back to the Pub to discuss more idiocracy of a democratic democracy and how W. would have handled the national recession.

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rooster 5 years, 1 month ago

"Out of power they're conservative, in power they become spend-happy liberals."

true

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beobachter 5 years, 1 month ago

No one has ever accused conservative Republicans of being intelligent. Look at W.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 1 month ago

ArumerZwarteHoop wrote "They need to refuse all federal funds and succeed from the ponzi scheme union." But appears to have meant "secede," not "succeed."

Similary, logicsound04 wrote that "Republican governors sure are hording a lot of" idiocy, but appears to have meant "hoarding," not "hording."

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Liberty_One 5 years, 2 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says…

"Huh…I would have thought conservatives had learned something from the recent election."

Looks like they did. Americans were furious about the bailout and voted against McCain because he supported it.

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Larry_The_Moocher 5 years, 2 months ago

Indications are that my additional tax burdon from this spending bill will approach $26,000 over the lifetime of the loan. This really pisses me off. You that mooch off the taxpayer will also get hit as your earned income and other entitlements will be reduced also to pay off this assinine expenditure of tax dollars.

You voted for him... and the empT... guess you can ride the empT to the welfare office.

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 2 months ago

Seems most of the states in the most dire straits, except a few, including Kansas (which I feel has no true political clue) are blue states. California being obviously the torch bearer for what not to do, ala, liberal style. Maybe not a smart move on GOP govs. parts but they are at least trying to make a statement.

I've pondered Obama's fear-mongering and I have concluded he is actually going easy. I think the bottom is going to blow America's mind to be quite honest.

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logicsound04 5 years, 2 months ago

Huh...I would have thought conservatives had learned something from the recent election.

Apparently not.

I also think this story makes it pretty clear who is still playing partisan politics and who is trying to work to find common ground.

Obama tries to adjust the stimulus to include provisions that fit with the conservative ideology (see: tax cuts, more tax cuts, and nothing but tax cuts) and the response is either "no, that's not enough tax cuts" or "fine, we'll refuse the money (in spite of our states being in dire need of the cashflow)."

Idiocy knows no party, but these Republican governors sure are hording a lot of it.

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couranna1 5 years, 2 months ago

"hey wouldn't be refusing the money if they were the ones being kicked out of their homes and laid off of their jobs.

but of course they can sit in their mansions and turn down the money, no problem."
CarterFauche

excellent point These people are just trying to get in the papers and they succeeded but only in looking stupid and trite

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Liberty_One 5 years, 2 months ago

Garden--a better idea would be to balance the budget to give investors confidence that the government won't continue to crowd out private investment, let deflation run its course so that companies can afford to start hiring people again, and stop inflating the dollar so that the few dollars people have left don't continue to lose their value.

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duplenty 5 years, 2 months ago

Hahaha.

Please, GOP'ers, refuse the stimulus money.

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GardenMomma 5 years, 2 months ago

Does anybody have a better idea? I've been reading all the posts about what a huge mistake this stimulus bill is and how it's all going to blow up and fail and death and drama and what have you , but has anyone come up with a better idea? SOMEthing needs to be done. If you don't like it, why don't you come up with a better idea??

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Liberty_One 5 years, 2 months ago

Where were these conservatives last year? Had they voted as a block against the wallstreet bailout they would have won the Presidency and Congress. Out of power they're conservative, in power they become spend-happy liberals.

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ArumerZwarteHoop 5 years, 2 months ago

Those loosers can migrate to california or some other looser bailout state.

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CarterFaucheaux 5 years, 2 months ago

they wouldn't be refusing the money if they were the ones being kicked out of their homes and laid off of their jobs.

but of course they can sit in their mansions and turn down the money, no problem.

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ArumerZwarteHoop 5 years, 2 months ago

They need to refuse all federal funds and succeed from the ponzi scheme union.

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ArumerZwarteHoop 5 years, 2 months ago

Let the dems all sell their souls to the slum lord Obama. Better to be free and broke than to give into draconian power consolidations like this “stimulus” bill.

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Orwell 5 years, 2 months ago

Interesting choice. Now we'll see which of them are idiots and which are hypocrites.

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madmike 5 years, 2 months ago

Before you take the money, you had better look carefully at the strings attached!

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logrithmic 5 years, 2 months ago

I love it. Now the rightwing governors will be thrown out of office too.

Wonderful!

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jaywalker 5 years, 2 months ago

Dumb da dumb dumb Dumb da dumb dumb daaaa!

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