Despite the lack of support for President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan among Republican Congress members last week, several GOP governors are supporting the proposed package, although some, like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, are still putting up a fight.
AP via Google News:
Clyde Frazier, a professor of political science at Meredith College in North Carolina, said it wasn’t politically inconsistent for Republican governors and members of Congress to part ways on the stimulus plan.
“For governors, it’s free money — they get the benefits and they don’t have to pay the costs of raising the revenues,” Frazier said. “Senators and representatives get only some credit for the expenditures, and they have to pay the bill.”
That’s not to say Republican governors are entirely enthusiastic about the plan. Some worry about the debt incurred through so much federal borrowing.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a former member of the House, said he would accept the stimulus money but would have voted against the bill if he were still in Congress. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he wasn’t sure whether he would accept the approximately $3 billion his state would be in line for.
“Yes, we need some help and we appreciate the help,” Barbour said in an interview. “But I don’t know about the details and the strings attached to tell you if I’ll take all of it or not.”
The most outspoken critic has been South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who has warned for months of a steep spike in inflation and a severely weakened dollar if Obama’s plan passed. His state is on track to receive $2.1 billion of the stimulus money; Sanford has not yet said whether he would accept it.
He’s on board: Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, the Republican vice chairman of the National Governors Association, is one of the GOP governors to throw in with President Obama’s stimulus plan.