Orzag Rejects S.C. Gov's Stimulus Waiver Request
By Michael D. Shear
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford had few kind words for the massive $787 billion stimulus program pushed through Congress by the Obama administration. So the letter the Republican governor received Monday from Obama's budget director probably comes as no surprise.
The letter, authored by Obama budget director Peter Orszag, rejected Sanford's request for a waiver to use a portion of his stimulus money to pay down the state's debt.
"Congress has not authorized the Executive branch to waive any of the above statutory requirements governing the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund," Orszag wrote. "Accordingly, States' spending under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund must satisfy the statutory requirements."
Sanford has been among the most vocal critics of the president's approach to the economic recovery, calling the stimulus the wrong approach.
"Our objections to the so-called stimulus bill have been well-chronicled for the way it spends money that we don't have and for the way this printing of money could ultimately devalue the American dollar," he said.
But Sanford last week wrote a letter asking permission to use $700 million of the federal money to reduce the state's federal debt. Orszag's response amounts to a slap at one of the program's harshest critics.
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