After President Obama rejected Mark Sanford’s request to use a portion of the stimulus money being sent to South Carolina to pay down state debt, Sanford rejected $700 million of stimulus funds, though he can be overruled by the state legislature.
Here’s what Sanford had to say in a statement released earlier today:
“We’re obviously disappointed by the White House’s decision, because it cuts against the notion of federalism and the idea of each state having the flexibility to act in a manner that best suits its needs,” Gov. Sanford said. “As a result, we will not be seeking the use of these federal funds for the way they put our state even further into an unconscionable level of debt. If our General Assembly chooses to make use of this federal money, we’d ask them to use existing state resources to begin paying down our state’s sizable liabilities. Now is the time to do so, because it will give us more flexibility in addressing future needs at a state level if this economic downturn is indeed protracted. We simply cannot afford to base 10 percent of our state budget on money that will disappear in two years’ time.”