Accessibility links

Breaking News

President, US Governors to Meet on Economy

Governors from across the United States are in Washington, where they are to meet with President Barack Obama about the state of the U.S. economy. There are plenty of differences among the governors about the president's economic stimulus plan.

U.S. governors are dealing with declining tax revenues, rising unemployment and soaring budget deficits. For most, the state aid included in the president's economic stimulus plan is needed to help them through the current economic crisis.

Among its biggest defenders are Democrats from states where the manufacturing sector is extremely weak and home foreclosures are on the rise.

The Democratic governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, says her state, which is home to the Detroit auto industry, needs every dollar Washington can provide. She appeared on the Fox News Sunday television program.

"You had better believe I am going to take every dollar that is coming to Michigan," said Jennifer Granholm.

Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has a different view of the $787-billion economic-stimulus package. Sanford, who plans to turn down some of the money set aside for his state, told Fox News the president's plan will explode the national debt.

"All this money is going to be borrowed from future generations, from social security," said Mark Sanford. "So, in essence, we are digging yet another hole for ourselves with regard to unsustainable spending."

In his weekly address, President Obama said despite the high cost of the stimulus package, he still intends to slash the federal budget deficit. News reports say the goal is to cut it in half in four years.

"That work begins on Monday, when I will convene a fiscal summit of independent experts and unions, advocacy groups and members of Congress, to discuss how we can cut the trillion-dollar deficit that we have inherited," said President Obama.

California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is calling on members of his party to work with the president as he seeks to bring the deficit under control and get the economy back on track.

"I feel very strongly that I think that President Obama right now needs team players," said Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger told ABC's This Week program that he understands why other Republican governors might have misgivings about the stimulus package. He said if Mark Sanford and others want to forgo their share of the federal money, California would be more than happy to take it.

"Governor Sanford says he does not want to take the money, the government stimulus package, and I want to say to him, 'I will take it!' I am more than happy to take his money or any other governor in this country who does not want to take this money, I will take it because we in California can need it," he said.

President Obama will meet with the governors Monday, shortly before he convenes the special experts meeting on the deficit. The governors were also invited to a formal White House dinner Sunday evening - the first such event of his presidency.