January 27th, 2009
03:13 PM ET
9 years ago

Stimulus bill writes out Blagojevich

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/27/art.getty.blago.hand.jpg caption="The 647-page bill bars Illinois agencies from receiving any money unless the Legislature directs how it will be spent, or until Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of governor of the state of Illinois."](CNN) - The $825 billion stimulus bill the Obama administration is trying to push through Congress would prevent any money given to the state of Illinois from being handled by the state's impeached governor, Rod Blagojevich.

The 647-page bill bars Illinois agencies from receiving any money unless the Legislature directs how it will be spent, or until "Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of governor of the state of Illinois." It does allow local governments to receive money directly from Washington or through the state, if state agencies follow an established formula.

The provision was added by the House Appropriations Committee last week. Blagojevich's impeachment trial got under way Monday in the Illinois state Senate. He faces federal criminal charges accusing him of attempting to trade or sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama after his November election.

Blagojevich, whose administration was under scrutiny by federal prosecutors long before his December arrest, has denied any wrongdoing. He has skipped the first two days of his trial, instead making the rounds of television talk shows to proclaim his innocence.

–CNN's Emma Lacey-Bordeaux contributed to this report.

Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    I bet this was one provision that had bipartisan support. The good Governor should be billed for the extra time (in terms of salary) that it cost for the committee to feel the need to insert this extra verbiage. They have plenty to worry about, it's a pity they have to make sure to circumvent this guy while juggling everything else. Maybe they are afraid he'll somehow manage to stay in office.

    January 27, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. CFTres

    This is great because the Illinois State legislature is full of fine upstanding public servants who are untainted by any graft or corruption and will not try and steer large sums of federal money to favored contractors who have contributed large piles of cash to their campaign funds. Not in this state.

    January 27, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. adian t. rosa

    I fail to be impressed by Governor Bagojevich's move to plead his case before the American public in such a way as he has been doing for these two days. I think that he had a duty to appear before his state's legislature. But at the same time, I do noth think that the US Congress should send a message of a presumption of guilt against Governor Bagohevich as it has done preventing the executive of that state to handle what other governors of other states will be allowed to handle. There are other ways to accomplish the same result without having to send such a message NOW. Other safety measures could have been taken, but such measures should cease to exist for Governor Bagojevich if at the end, he is NOT found guilty and impeached. The system is the system. If he had been found guilty, I would agree with US Congress, but not at this stage.

    January 27, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |



    January 27, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Suzanne


    January 27, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. sha

    If you knew a guy who was being impeached for allegedly being a crook would YOU hand him millions of dollars? Maybe if he spent more time proving his innocence in court and less time talking out of his butt (about cowboys, etc.) on TV while he SHOULD be in court I might give him the benefit of the doubt.

    January 27, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Carrie

    RJ, Sherry...actually read the article prior to posting; they WILL get funds/monies as long as it isn't handled by blagojevich! It will just be funneled in different ways.

    January 27, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Elizabeth Iledare

    This is a circus! What happened to the presumption of innocence in this country? Who is really losing here? Is it Blago, or the citizen's of Illinois?

    He made some valid points on Larry King live last night. This whole case has the potential to set very dangerous precedents. I don’t believe for one minute that he’s innocent, but our efforts to prove him guilty must be lawful.

    January 27, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Larry Houston TX

    Blago had one of the best Lawyers in the country !
    His Attorney quit, because BLAGO could not shut his mouth, and decided to go on those T.V. Shows !! (isn't that crazy)

    He's done now....Through / Finished ...period....
    If he would have LISTENED to his Attorney, he could have GOT OFF,
    like O.J. did......

    January 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Blago would probably leave the country with the money if he got his grubby hands on it.

    January 27, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. cc


    Let's get this straight – Blagoyevich is not being charged with a crime in his impeachment. There is no innocent until proven guilty. It's about his fitness to serve. Blago likes to say he's not resigning for the sake of the people of Illinois. Really? His approval rating is now at 7%, even George W. Bush's was in the mid 20% range so that tells you how much support this guy has in his home state. Problem is that the Illinois legislature is chock full of crooks who do "pay to play" schemes all the time so even getting Blago out of office doesn't help. Quickest and best way to clean up Illinois? IMPOSE TERM LIMITS!

    January 27, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. j-stl

    kudos to kaz!

    January 27, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Ron, Alabama

    Y'all don't understand the Feds. When they give out money, they dictate the rules.

    January 27, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. California Gold

    Ye-ouch! Now Blagojevich can appear on Dr. Phil to explore his feelings at being circumvented.

    January 27, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. linda from South Dakota

    this man is no more innocent than many CEO'S.. hes stallin for time,, and the people of Illinios are the ones who suffer,,,, he needs to be jailed and held til the proceedings of impeachment are done,, then let him serve his term,,,,, if it was you or i, they would have done all this already,,,,

    January 27, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Michael Mitchell


    "I feel bad for the residents of Illinois.
    Somehow I doubt that last minute insert is constitutionally legal since Blagojevich has not been found guilty of anything.
    If Blagojevich is found innocent (fat chance I know, but work with me here), how would the exclusion be legal?"

    There isn't the slightest issue with the constitutionality of excluding Blagojevich. Exclusion would not be "punishment" or any form od due process issue.

    Congress has no obligation anywhere under Article I to provide any federal money directly to the states, or any agency or subdivision of any state. To the extent that Congress does so, it is free to impose such conditions as it chooses as long as such restrictions are not explicitly prohibited by the Contitution, and as long as there is no violation of separation of powers.

    Remember the days when the US government "mandated" 55 mile speed limits? The US government also "mandates" uniform mininum age laws for purchase and consumption of alcohol, by denying Federal highway funds to any state which does not enact its own laws to make 21 the minimum age for alcohol. The same process has been used to create a standard 0.008% blood alcohol content for DUI offenses.

    The Federal government has no direct authority to enact legal age for alcohol consumption or DUI laws, except on Federal property or in regards to interstate commerce. The Federal government *does* have the authority to impose conditions on acceptance and receipt of funds from Federal programs.

    The only thing unusual about this provision is that Blagojevich is mentioned by name. Restrictions on handling and receiving Federal funds are pretty common.

    January 27, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Roxie

    On the surface one would question whether this is illegal, unconstitutional etc. However, I do like the message – "Politicians clean up your acts or there will be consequences.." maybe, just maybe, our elected officials will begin to think twice about engaging in unethical behaviors. Too bad this type of "control" wasn't used over the past 8 years. A little hope...

    January 27, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. gsiofy

    if they already took a decision like that , why he still in office , if he is innocent as he claim he should reserve some dignity and leave , and is he is guilty as they propose , he should leave before they make him a ground beef

    January 27, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. lc

    In your face Blago! You won't appear in court but can go to all the media outlets to talk nonsense?


    January 27, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Well there it is

    Write out Martin O'Malley and anyone involved in the government of the City of Baltimore too.

    January 27, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. Survivor

    Sorry for the constituents of Illinois – but it won't be long now. the Gov will be put out of office – hopefully this is a lesson to all politicians who try to get away with too much and start thinking they can do no wrong....

    January 27, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Blago.........be gone!

    January 27, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. Sean Chong

    Before convicting anyone of any crime, roll out all the evidences. American justice is really crappy, don't judge until everything is on the table. Don't judge this guy first, if not, it'll never be a fair trial. The same goes to the Caylee Case. Everyone's opinion convicted her mom.... let the evidences do the talking. American justice needs to be improved!

    January 27, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. tigerbiteone

    Believe me, this state can't wait to unload this idiot of a governor.

    January 27, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. M.R

    Did the tapes reveal that he was selling the seat or trading favors for it ?Exactly what is wrong with this picture.He stated on Larry King that he wanted the Senate to to listen to the entire tape.Understandably that there is still a federal investigation but how can this man be impeached without a defense Just listen to the entire tape and have those people that met with him about the seat testify as to what was said.I just wonder how a govenor that was elected twice by the people could be so bad .His record as govenor speaks fo itself

    January 27, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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