POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009 - 10:04am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:23pm
One month now in the White House and it is looking like another busy week for President Obama. Today he meets with the nation's governors some of whom are turning down his stimulus money. And that's just the start...
Some of these governors are still in sticker shock over the stimulus. They attended the president's first formal White House event sunday night and are bound to be skeptical today when he talks about spending restraint.
President Obama hosted the nation's governors over dinner.
Before upbeat tunes from "Earth, Wind, and Fire," the president got serious on money.
President Obama said "you're where the rubber hits the road."
He acknowledged splits over spending, saying "regardless of our occasional difference, that in this very difficult time, my hope is that we can all work together."
Snuffing out stimulus waste is the president's goal today.
He'll name a federal inspector general to monitor payouts and host business and labor leaders and lawmakers at a fiscal responsibility summit.
One GOP critic called it timely.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said "because we're spending money at a very, very rapid pace, far beyond anything in history."
Three GOP governors reject some of the president's stimulus.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said "the $100 million we turned down was temporary federal dollars that would require us to change our unemployment laws. (55) That would've actually raised taxes on louisiana businesses."
Most though are filling their budget gaps gladly.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said "so you better believe I'm going to take every dollar that is coming to Michigan."
California's is more than $40 billion wide.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger said "I think that it is a terrific package."
Tomorrow President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress.
Thursday he releases his first budget.
President Obama said "my strategy for investing in what we need, cutting what we don't, and restoring fiscal discipline."
To do it, the president plans to scale back Iraq war spending and let the Bush tax cuts expire as planned.
Expect Republican lawmakers to dig in against that. Tomorrow night they'll also hear the president renew his calls for health care reform and to tackle climate change. Big ambitions on a tight budget.
President Obama wants to cut the trillion dollar deficit in half in four years.
His budget projects that the drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq will bring savings, though it's not clear how much will be offset by a shift of resources to Afghanistan.