NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday told governors from across the country to work with him to "help design" a massive economic recovery package he hopes to sign shortly after he takes office.
"If we're listening to our governors, we'll not only be doing what's right for our states, we'll be doing what's right for our country," Obama said in prepared remarks at a meeting of the National Governors' Association (NGA) in Philadelphia. "That's how we'll grow our economy - from the bottom-up."
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Plagued by rising unemployment, falling tax revenue and increased demand for state services, the governors were expected to press Obama for federal money to ease their fiscal strain.
All told, 41 states are facing budget shortfalls this year or next, Obama said.
"Make no mistake: these are difficult times, and we're going to have to make hard choices in the months ahead," Obama said. "I won't stand here and tell you that you'll like all the decisions I make. You probably won't."