Obama’s budget director says only governor can seek stimulus funds
A senior Obama administration official has told U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham that he agrees that the $700 million in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for South Carolina can be drawn down only by Gov. Mark Sanford.
Graham voted against the federal economic stimulus bill, but he has since said he thinks South Carolina should accept the money, because state taxpayers will have to help pay it back and the money is likely to be spent in another state if it is not spent here.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell agreed. Greg Foster said that, though many Republicans opposed passage of the federal stimulus bill, it is now law, and S.C. taxpayers are on the hook to repay the money, whether they spend it or not.
Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to Graham that, in the opinion of federal attorneys, only the governor can apply for the funds.
“I don’t think this is a partisan decision at all,” Foster said about the administration’s interpretation. “The law is clear. Where this money is concerned, it’s the governor’s decision. “The solution to this is very simple: Gov. Sanford needs to certify that money by midnight Friday because South Carolina taxpayers are going to have to repay it,” Foster said.
Foster noted that the state House of Representatives voted 108-8 to accept all funds available to the state from the federal stimulus law. He also added that Sanford already has approved and asked for hundreds of millions of dollars from the stimulus bill.
In February, I had written about the constitutional issue on the provision that allowed the legislature to by-pass the Governor's executive authority.
From a constitutional stand point, Obama is overruling Alaska's Constitution in that he is allowing the state legislature through federal law, to completely by-pass the state constitutional provision giving the Governor the executive authority to use her veto pen.
And the thread was posted on FreeRepublic here.
You can always find interesting comments and the following comment is an example of that.
I think that this is a stretch.
The 10th Amendment is there just for this purpose.
I know that it has been much abused, but right here is as good a place to take a stand as any.
4 posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 3:10:25 AM by Jimmy Valentine
(DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing
the American Dream)
The commentator was right. There was a constitutional question that fell under the Tenth amendment and the federal law usurped the Governor's executive authority.
In an ADN article, Mike Doogan had boldly stated that the Legislature could override a veto. Here is a prime example of a Representative spouting off something he is clueless on.
Wrong Representative Doogan, the point being is the law usurped the Governor's authority. And that sir, is unconstitutional as the federal lawyers stated. Moreover, the BIG question should be asked, who were the nimrods who wrote the bill and inserted the provision in the first place?
At least Hollis French thought that it may not pass constitutional muster. I will give the Grand Inquisitor that much credit. You have to ask who were the other legislators who thought it would pass constitutional muster.
The only question left is, how will Palin and the Governors handle this? No excuses from them on this one.