Friday, April 10, 2009

Politico: Jindal more open to getting Louisiana stimulated

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Ben Smith at Politico reports:

The list of governors threatening to decline federal stimulus money last month read like a list of Republicans considering running for president in 2012: Govs. Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin led the anti-stimulus charge.

But what began with a bang is ending with something closer to a whimper. All three of those governors have been forced to scale back their expectations, to varying degrees, as the push of conservative philosophy gave way to the pull of political reality.

All three found that praise from the conservative movement in Washington meant nothing to furious state legislators of both parties. And in the end, along with other conservative Republican governors, the three submitted letters in recent days asking to be eligible for federal funds, a spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget confirmed....

Jindal — who became the party’s most prominent voice against the stimulus in his rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union address last month — appears to be rejecting just one other pot of federal cash on top of the $98 million in unemployment insurance: $9.5 million in health spending.

The local press noted, meanwhile, that he plans to request federal funds for a New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money he denounced as a vehicle for “wasteful spending.”

A Jindal spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for details about his stance, but he wrote in his certification letter that he would spend the money “in a way that does not add an undue burden to the current financial situation in our state.”

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