And the conservative wrangling over the stimulus isn't over. Are you kidding?
One doesn't quite know whether to laugh or cry.
Senator Lindsey Graham releases White House response to stimulus dilemma
By Tim Smith • CAPITAL BUREAU
Greenville News • April 1, 2009
Lindsey's fingers are itching, and he wants the money. This is, as far as I can see, the only way we might actually get it.
COLUMBIA - The White House Office of Management and Budget says that only Gov. Mark Sanford can apply for $700 million in federal stimulus funds, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said this morning.
Graham, who last week called attention to a congressional report raising legal questions about a provision allowing legislatures to bypass governors in claiming the money, had asked for an opinion from the White House.
The White House letter follows release of an opinion on Tuesday by State Attorney Henry McMaster that said the governor would have to approve spending the money, even if the Legislature requested it.
Sanford, who has until Friday to request the money, has said he will only do so if the Legislature agrees to spend it on state debt. Lawmakers have warned that without the stimulus money, thousands of teachers will be fired, tuition at state colleges will increase by double digits and some prisons could be closed or inmates released early.
"Regardless of one’s opinion about the provision’s constitutionality, the Congress will not be able to fix this problem by Friday and allow the state legislature to apply for the funding," Graham said in a statement. "Also, it is unlikely other states would want to pass a legislative fix that would assist South Carolina. By doing nothing, other states increase the chances they will receive a portion of the funding originally directed to our state."
Graham repeated his opinion that Sanford should ask for the money because it is money paid by South Carolinians that could go to other states if he doesn't.. He also said he hopes the governor and lawmakers can strike a compromise.
"It is my hope a win-win solution which addresses our state’s needs today while building a solid foundation for future generations can be achieved,” he said.
The $700 million is part of $2.8 billion in stimulus funds available to the state.
Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope!