Monday, February 23, 2009

Pres. Obama To GOP Governors: No Time For Politics

According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll a majority of people surveyed in both parties said Mr. Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most faulted Republicans for their political response to the president and believe he should continue to pursue his stated priorities rather than seek middle ground with GOP.

President Obama, responding to conservative Republican Governors' public criticism of the economic stimulus package, said the criticism has more to do with politics than policy.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry waged a weeks long aggressive campaign and co-wrote an op-ed piece with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford opposing the stimulus bill. Last week Gov. Perry grudgingly informed the White House that he'll accept "some" stimulus money, but left the door open to not taking all of the money allocated to Texas.

Several southern conservative governors including Texas Gov. Perry (R), South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jinda (R) have made public statements that they are considering rejecting part of the money because they do not want to accept money that would fund social programs, like unemployment insurance to every unemployed worker, to which they are opposed.

Obama speech to governors 22nd February : no time for politics. Part 1

Obama speech to governors 22nd February : no time for politics. Part 2

Directing comments to those Republican governors, President Obama said, "I just want to make sure that we're having an honest debate. . . I don't want us to...get caught up in the same old stuff that prevents us from accomplishing something for the American people. . .If we agree on 90 percent of this stuff and are spending all our time on television arguing about one, two, three percent of the spending ... that starts sounding more like politics. . .There will be ample time for campaigns down the road."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) also has a message for Republican governors hemming and hawing over whether to accept the stimulus money. "No one would dispute that these governors should be given the choice as to whether to accept the funds or not. But it should not be multiple choice. To protect the integrity of the recovery program, I urge the administration to issue implementation guidance clarifying that while any Governor may exercise his or her discretion to accept or reject the federal funds provided in the stimulus, no Governor should have the authority to arbitrarily adopt a select subset of the overall package," Schumer writes in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

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