THE OTHER REPUBLICAN OFFICIALS…. Congressional Republicans oppose the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package. Media Republicans oppose the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package. But then there are those other Republicans who actually have to govern during this economic crisis.
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.
You don’t say. States facing unprecedented budget crunches and mounting healthcare, education, and transportation costs support the idea of a federal rescue package. Who knew?
Gov. Jodi Rell (R) of Connecticut called up Democratic Rep. Jim Himes to ask, “What can I do, who can I call to make sure this passes?”
Even South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, perhaps the most reactionary of the Republican govenors’ neo-Hooverite caucus, is facing such severe pressure from South Carolina mayors and even Republicans in the state legislature that he’s officially “undecided” about Obama’s plan.
It’s doubtful that congressional Republicans will pay much attention to what governors — even governors in their own party — have to say about this. But it’s just one more example of far-right lawmakers being isolated, whether that matters to them or not.