WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan congressional report released Wednesday concludes that it likely would be unconstitutional for a legislature to supplant a governor in accepting and using economic stimulus money.
The Congressional Research Service analysis could imperil tens of millions of stimulus dollars reserved for South Carolina and Texas, whose governors have said they will reject some of their states’ shares of the money.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who requested the CRS study, wrote White House budget director Peter Orszag, asking him to clarify key provisions of the $787 billion stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed into law last month.
“Right now there is ambiguity in the law,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “Can the legislature require funds from the stimulus funds for education or does it have to be the governor?”
In Charleston last week, Graham said he doesn’t support Sanford’s rejection of the stimulus money for the state.
“If it comes down to South Carolina getting the money or some other state getting the money, I would urge the governor to take the money,” Graham said.
This makes me wonder what the next moves will be by the Republican Governor’s of Alaska (Sarah Palin), Louisiana (Bobby Jindal) and Texas (Rick Perry) will do if they don’t have the cover of their state’s Legislative Branch covering their behinds. If this turns out to be true, I wonder, further, if these governor’s will still reject billions of dollars offered to their states. (I also wonder if Sarah Palin will get her many earmarks from the omnibus spending bill without taking any stimulus money. Another Hmmm.)
Talk about a fascinating game of chess…with the lives and futures of millions of people on the line. Compassionate Conservatism, my a$$.