Feb 242009

Chuck Schumer is calling bullshit on these Republican Governors who are grandstanding on the stimulus bill. According to Talking Points Memo Schumer has written a letter to the White House saying the stimulus bill does not include any provision allowing Governors to pick and choose which parts of the stimulus money they want to take. Schumer is telling the Administration to tell the governors that it’s all-or-nothing.

As you know, Section 1607(a) of the economic recovery legislation provides that the Governor of each state must certify a request for stimulus funds before any money can flow. No language in this provision, however, permits the governor to selectively adopt some components of the bill while rejecting others. To allow such picking and choosing would, in effect, empower the governors with a line-item veto authority that President Obama himself did not possess at the time he signed the legislation. It would also undermine the overall success of the bill, as the components most singled out for criticism by these governors are among the most productive measures in terms of stimulating the economy.

We have Governors like Bobby Jindal not wanting to provide increased unemployment benefits to people in his state, but he wants to take the money for infrastructure.

It’s interesting that the money they want to turn down is money that would directly help people in need. Jindal claims that his state can’t afford to maintain the extended benefits once the federal money is gone. What he hasn’t done is explain why his state couldn’t write law so as to limit the extension to the time covered in the stimulus…something that is perfectly legal.

These Republicans, especially the Governors with their eye on a presidential run, are playing politics at a critical time in the history of this country. I’m certain I could go through the stimulus package and find things I don’t like, but I’m smart enough to know that, on balance, the issue is getting people working, and getting money in their pockets to spend so that others can be working.

In the meantime, the Republicans are hoping to facilitate a complete crash of the world economy so they might regain a few congressional seats and maybe the White House in a few years. It’s so nice to know they have our best interests at heart. I hope the Obama Administration will quit pussyfooting around, and take up Schumer’s position.

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