February 21st, 2009
03:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Nation's governors convene in Washington

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.rendell.gi.jpg caption="Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is one of several governors in Washington."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "This country is facing an economic recession probably the single most challenging in any our lifetimes." With that, Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Edward Rendell opened the annual meeting of the National Governors Association Saturday.

Most of the nation's governors are in Washington through Monday for a series of events that include at least two meetings with President Barack Obama.

During an introductory statement, Rendell, who chairs the NGA, touched on the importance of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan signed by President Obama to help states as they cope with the effects of the recession.

"The bill that was passed by both chambers and signed by the President isn't a perfect bill. But it's a bill that is of tremendous help to us," said Rendell.

Programming note: The following governors will appear on "State of the Union with John King" on Sunday: Haley Barbour, R-Mississippi, Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-California, Brian Schweitzer, D-Montana.

Vermont Republican Gov. James Douglas, NGA vice chairman, added that each governor who accepts money has a responsibility to use it wisely. "I believe every governor should and will exercise due diligence to make sure that the acceptance of any federal resources is in the best interests of that state and its residents," Douglas said.

Investment in the country's infrastructure was the predominant theme during the opening remarks. Significant investment in health technology, alternative energy and broadband development were also mentioned as ways the United States can get back on steadier economic ground.

Rendell said a joint effort between Capitol Hill and the White House has resulted in a bill that will hopefully help turn around the economy while keeping an eye on tomorrow. "I think the President and Congress should be credited for doing things in this bill to look towards the future," Rendell said.

The nation's governors will have dinner with President Obama and Mrs. Obama Sunday evening at the White House. The governors are also scheduled to meet a final time with the President on Monday before departing for their respective states.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Meka

    It's GREAT, that President Obama is trying to HELP AMERICA . . . as he GUIDE'S THEM in helping themselves!


    February 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Ben Sarzannes

    Rendell and his likes simply will not get real and reduce state spending but will instead try to enslave the state residents by assuring them that they are all entitled to be rich. Not American, no way!

    February 21, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Jean

    How much is this costing?

    Are they going to talk about how they have drove all their states into the red and how they will continue doing it?

    It is all a joke!

    February 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Rob from Pa

    Fortune cookie says: Beware, anything that Ed Rendell likes, you should be very weary of.

    February 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Governors who refused the stimulous don't care about the people who put them in office. Gov. Jindal of Louisiana(R) should be thrown out of office now because he's using his political aspirations while denying the needs of some of the poorest people in the country but remember he's a Republican. Gov. Palin of Alaska has people starving and begginf for food that live in the outer rims of Alaska and we all know Palin and her unemployed husband and clan live off the State of Alaska. There are a few more Republican governors that show no shame but SHAME ON THEM REPUBLICANS.

    February 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Comment to Marc and the others who didn't like "Texas Teachers" comments: Hey you guys, teachers do only work an 8 hr day....in the classroom, but they also have to grade papers and do lesson plans (according to state educations guidelines so your children can get an education), take additionals courses to maintain certification and receive "pay raises" which are less than the average workers get since school budgets are set by ELECTED school boards.
    Why don't you try teaching for a week or two and see how long you last

    Many of us teach in environments that most teachers won't go into, like teaching the "at risk" student population...Now there's a challenge.

    February 21, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    Okay Governors,
    Any of you who don't want the stimulus money let us know now. We can split it among the states whose governors actually want to help their people. Let the Republicans refuse the money if they want. Hey here's a good test of trickle down. Give it to the governors, Republican and Democrat who want the money then let it trickle down to the states whose governors care more about politics than the well being of their citizens.

    February 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. cnnnewser

    This is the perfect time for Democratic Governors to speak out against the republican governors stance on the stimulus money.
    Perfect opportunity for the Democrats to be heard loud and clear.
    Wonder if Bobby Jindhl will show up? LOL

    February 21, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. robert diogenes



    Elizabeth Warren head of the oversight panel setup by Congress
    to monitor the Federal Bailout says, “THE GOV’T STILL DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE A COHERENT STRATEGY FOR EASING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. “Instead the gov’t seemed to go from one tactic to the next without clarifying how each step fits into the overall plan. .

    A reason for Ms. Warren’s observation is the US does not appear to have an economic strategy. Professor Porter notes the American political system has evolved with piecemeal reactions to current events. .

    Is what has driven our success starting to erode?
    Prof Porter believes” a series of policy failures have offset and even nullified “US “ strengths just as other nations are becoming more competitive”. Let’s have a look at some of the economic areas.

    1) “An inadequate rate of reinvestment in science and technology is hampering our feeder system for entrepreneurship. Research and development as a share of the GDP has declined, while it has risen in other countries”. This is well recognized but policy makers have failed to act.
    2) Our belief in competition is waning. “A creeping relaxation of antitrust enforcement has allowed mergers to dominate markets”. “We are seeing more interference in competition with protectionism and favoritism.”
    3) US colleges and universities do not have a serious plan, such as GI Bill or National Science Foundation programs, to improve access to them. The US now ranks 12th in educational attainment for 25 to 34year olds. For 30 yrs we have not improved ourselves in this area. This is an “ominous trend in an economy that must have the skills to justify our high wages.”
    4) At a time when job insecurity and turnover are high the US gov’t has not taken responsibility to provide a transition safety net for US working people. The job training system is ineffective and receives less funding each year. Pension security is declining. Social security is not being adjusted and strengthened. Access to affordable health insurance is a major worry to most people. The gov’t could equalize the tax deductibility of individuals purchasing insurance to assist those not covered by their employers, but has failed to do so.
    5) The US is energy inefficient. Public policies fail to promote energy conservation.

    6) “Trade and foreign investment are fundamental to the success of the US economy but the US has lost its focus and credibility in shaping the international trading system.” “With no strategy the US has failed to work with other advanced countries to assist poorer countries to feel confident about opening markets and internal reform.” “Our foreign aid is still tied to the purchase of US goods rather than the actual needs of countries.”

    7) “The federal gov’t has failed to recognize and support the decentralization and regional specialization that drives our economy.

    8) Lack of regulatory oversight combined with lack of a strategic plan has resulted in a hodge-podge of policies that have driven up the costs of doing business. TO SUM UP WE HAVE HAD POOR ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT.

    9) Is good strategic economic plan possible considering our political system? It requires political parties and private leaders to come together and chart a long term plan. Prof Porter recommends a bipartisan joint planning group to coordinate priorities,

    Does the new Stimulus Bill help solve these problems?

    February 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Proud American

    Please tell me the Moron Sarah Palin didn't show up? I can't stand the thought of listening to the Idiot the rest of the weekend.

    February 21, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Had It

    Sure hope all these governors make sure the money is used to create jobs which will generate more tax base to create more jobs.

    February 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. BLA-BLA




    February 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Ray Fisher

    If folks would begin thinking about the stimulus as a tool instead of a cure all, life would begin to stabilize. The stimulus must be accompanied by reforms in the financial, labor, energy, and technology sectors of our economy for long term success. America should be preparing for a national recycling program, energy conservation, trade reforms and immigration policies to mention a few. We must remedy our wasteful habits with new ideas to help our economy and the environment while providing jobs. By enlisting ideas from all sectors of our nation we can do more with less and yet provide more opportunity for all.

    February 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Julianna

    The Governors better behave with our money from now on...

    February 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Alicia

    Too bad my governor, Governor Rendell, is not scheduled for the program. Governor Rendell looks out for Pennsylvanians. The same way our Senator Specter, a Republican, puts Pennsylvanians ahead of his career.

    Proud Pennyslvanian of both MY Governor and Senator!!!!!

    February 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Tariq

    I understand the concern expressed by some governors that the stimulus money meant for unemployment checks MAY go to the wrong people...

    ...but by all means, is that really a flaw in the stimulus bill?? Fix the method and the efficiency of distributing unemployment checks and take the stimulus bill money!!

    February 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Buckeye

    Rendell just launched a tuition reduction plan in PA with the money coming from legalized video poker, a racket he admits was illegally run by organized crime. So, now state government takes over this criminal behavior. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em is not exactly what Lincoln had in mind when talking in PA of govt of, for and by the people.

    February 21, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. america first

    Our Country is in a CRISIS, and if we don't start working together instead of being critical of everything OUR President tries to do, then God help us all.

    February 21, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. strong

    What good will this do? Nada.

    More big fat cats passing hot air. Same old, same old.

    February 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Mike - Houston

    Pretty accurate that you show a picture of Rendell begging for taxpayer money.

    February 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. sifto77

    I am assuming these Governors are having lobster or quail while Obama tells us to eat hot dogs and beans. Trivia aside, why are there 3 liberals and i conservative? a little unbalanced. Surely, Obama does not Consider Arnold "Kennedy" a conservative? He is surely in Pelosi's corner in California.

    February 21, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Jill

    The states don't need it, the people do. The state goverments will always find a way to waste and squander it away.
    I live in CT. I always hear how it's the richest state in the country. But it's funny how this state is always broke. Its tax rates are rediculous. Pick up a phone bill and you'll see about 7 different taxes. Everything is taxed here, including income. But these incompetent evil jerks are always asking for more money.
    Now they are even shutting down schools here, but one good thing- the evil greed that kept expanding the casinos has stopped dead in it's tracks.

    February 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Actually, it's to bailout the states for OVERSPENDING.

    February 21, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Judy from PA

    Rendell doesn't know how to spend money wisely. Since he has been in office, he cut funds to the state police, cut the number of snow plows on the roads resulting in thousands of people being stranded on the interstate, and just recently proposed to close the 100 year old School for the Deaf. Aren't Democrats supposed to be FOR the people?

    February 21, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. BADU



    February 21, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5