Most Republican governors have broken with their GOP colleagues in Congress and are pushing for passage of President Barack Obama’s economic aid plan that would send billions to states for education, public works and health care.
Their state treasuries drained by the financial crisis, governors would welcome the money from Capitol Hill, where GOP lawmakers are more skeptical of Obama’s spending priorities.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, planned to meet in Washington this weekend with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other senators to press for her state’s share of the package.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist worked the phones last week with members of his state’s congressional delegation, including House Republicans. Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, the Republican vice chairman of the National Governors Association, planned to be in Washington on Monday to urge the Senate to approve the plan.
“As the executive of a state experiencing budget challenges, Gov. Douglas has a different perspective on the situation than congressional Republicans,” said Douglas’ deputy chief of staff, Dennise Casey.
Not a single Republican voted with the majority last week when the House approved Obama’s $819 billion combination of tax cuts and new spending. The president’s goal is to create or preserve 3 million to 4 million jobs.
Republicans led by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio complained that the plan is laden with pet projects and will not yield the jobs or stimulate the economy in the way Obama has promised.
The measure faces GOP opposition in the Senate, where it will be up for a vote in the week ahead.
QUESTION: Does this mean some Republican Congressional members have lost touch with their base in their home states? Some say tax breaks suggested by the GOP won’t stimulate the economy. What do you think?