(CNN) – President Barack Obama and a Republican governor pushed for stimulus legislation at the White House this morning, as the president continued his push to attract GOP support.
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, vice chairman of the National Governors Association, told reporters that governors are looking to the federal government for assistance to "stimulate the economy, create jobs, to help us balance our budgets and preserve essential programs for the American people - and avoid the need to raise taxes at the state level."
The nearly $900 billion dollar bill passed the House last week without a single Republican vote. It is now in the hands of the Senate, and has faced bipartisan criticism from fiscal conservatives who say there are too many spending programs and not enough tax cuts for small businesses.
"I know there are some differences on some of the elements, and if I were writing it, it might be a little different,” said Douglas Monday. “If you were writing it, it might be a little different. But the essence of a recovery package is essential to get our nation's economy moving."
Obama said governors, mayors and county officials — who have been more supportive of stimulus spending than federal lawmakers - “are seeing the devastating effects on the ground of this economy." Many states have been forced to borrow from the federal government as their unemployment insurance funds run dry.
"People are being laid off, and that means that governors like Jim are having to not only deal with declining revenue, but increased social services to provide support for people who are unemployed as they're seeking work," he said.