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.

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soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. kayla

    is jindal going to be there? just asking, maybe he needs to get permission from his bosses, you know like rush, hannity, black steele and the other rightwing nuts.

    February 21, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Enlightened Voter

    The Rethuglicans passed the corporate bailout in haste but balked and opposed the bailout (stimulus) for the Economy and Middle class. If there are still any people out there who aren't rich and still a republican you need your head examined. Side note, most are taking the money for their states though and the ones that are refusing to take the money their consituents have proof they don't give a daxx about the people.

    February 21, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Proud to be an American

    It is so hypocritical for the GOP governors to take the stimulus money whether it be the whole amount or even a partial amount. If you hate it so much and you think we shouldn't spend anything, then DON'T TAKE THE MONEY.

    It shows that Obama is right and the GOP are just shallow blowhards who are acting based on ego.

    February 21, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. New Yorker

    "Human rights can not interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and security crises," Clinton said while speaking with China's foreign minister.


    February 21, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Wisconsin Vet

    It is amazing that Rep. Governors are looking out for the people of there states Just as Dem. counterparts. And commending the Pres. for taking swift action knowing that this plan is not just a now thing but a to come bill.

    Than you look at the all but 3 federal Rep condemed this and were only looking out for themselves while using the people as an excuse. Offering no compermise just there agenda.

    Hmmm ? Just goes to show the whole group is not evil and dirty.

    February 21, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. gfg

    I was @ a dinner with Governor Perry last night and I can't wait for him to rip Obama up & down when they meet...

    February 21, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Babs

    The "eye on tomorrow" that Rendell is talking about is important. The Dems have made sure to take care of their constituents far down the road, as a condition of the governors accepting this "stimulus" money is that the welfare payments and extended unemployment benefits are permanent, folks. That means when the stimulus money runs out in two or three years, the citzens of each state will be responsible for the additional payments, even after this economy has turned itself around. Don't tell you that in those White House press briefings, do they?

    February 21, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. John

    I think any Governor that wants to speak out against the stimulus bill should have his/her state excluded from the funding.

    February 21, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Gordo

    I hope Governor Perry of Texas will take the timulus money insteadof raising our taxes. My house payment went up this year because the taxes went up. I am a senior living on a fixed income. Everone in Texas is not a wealthy rancher or oil man. If this Governor is wanting to run for President, he needs to start helping Texans now.

    February 21, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. Jothedemocrat

    It's sad to hear the poor complain about socialism

    February 21, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Dianne

    I do wish I could be at the dinner at the White House Sunday night. it is refreshing to have an upbeat family living there, it has been a long time. i agree the Republican Governors should not accept the money from the stimulous package but they will and then bash Obama. They spent 8 years bashing Clinton and will do the same to obama.

    February 21, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Judy from PA

    To: Proud to be An American,

    I assume you didn't accept your Bush stimulus checks then?

    February 21, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. dustin

    As a texan i wish Brian Schweitzer was our gov, although hopefully we can elect kay and get ol' perry out.

    February 21, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Jean

    Proud American,

    YOu are the only moron.

    You better be nice she will be your next POTUS.

    February 21, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Bob Davis

    It's all a joke unless "made in america" becomes a reality again!!!

    February 21, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. Jerry

    It is time for Govs Sanford, Gindal, Barbour, etc., to grow up.

    You all have needs in your states and if you don't take care of them you will be a drag on the other states and the Nation as a whole.

    Gindal especially is a hypocrite; you honestly expect me to believe that LA doesn't have need for Recovery money, and that the current state of affairs in LA is not a drag on the Nation, that goes for TX MS, also.

    Public safety is one of a govs first concerns and they surely have major concerns regarding storms and destruction in those states. So I think they can work on those projects and help save their own residents unnecessaary suffering and hold down the costs of destructive storms to the state and the Nation.

    Sounds like jobs and sound investment!
    Wake up you bone heads.

    February 21, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Max

    Proud to be an American:

    Absolute nonsense. If Obama is adamant about spending their constituents' tax dollars, there is no faulting the GOP governors for trying to bring that money BACK to their constituents as possible. There's no blaming the GOP for trying to make the best of an idiotic spending bill.

    February 21, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. m smith

    Of course they will take the money and then complain about the cost. It is a shame when so many are worried about the next campaigne and not the American people. The cost of the war and the debt left by Bush will not impact our children?????? Get real. NOw if only they will spend the money wisely.

    February 21, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Big Ed gets it

    Thanks Mr.Rendell.Now could you help us get back the remains of Geronimo that were taken by Prescott Bush and "Skull and Bones" secret cult from Yale?

    February 21, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Stay Active

    I agree with Ray Fisher. It is unbelievable some of the comments I read on these boards. Now is the time to start....start....start to build up our country. The investments from the reinvestment package is a step in the right direction.

    President Obama is on the right track. I just wish more in congress could see further than just the end of their noses.

    Proud AARP member for President Obama.

    February 21, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |


    February 21, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Mike Dallas

    To all you that are complaining that 13 dollar a week is not a stimulus. Try multiplying that by 150 million workers, altho, that number is rapidly declining, and you will see that the total pumped into the economy each week is nearly 2 B that would not have been there otherwise. It was intentionally set up to slowly goes into the economy as opposed to a one time rebate. It is more apt to be spent if it is a small but regular infusion. A rebate as we know, will most likely go to pay off existing debt or savings.

    So, try to see past you own selfish self-interest and see the big picture, but I forget, you are republicans, watching out for your own selfish self-interest is the ONLY view you believe and support.

    February 21, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. libby

    President Obama is doing a great job. It is good to see a President acuall WORKING for the American people. Sure he will never please all the Ameicans and especially the Republicans who are wishing that he fails just as he would have if he had just done nothing. We can not take the time to worry about the naysayers. The American people need to support their President in this cause and hope for the better. If this fails we need to move on to something else. No one is perfect but atleast I give President Obama an A for trying to be. I truly do not believe he will let the American people down. He also has a family and children that he has to make this nation safe for.

    February 21, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. alvino

    Do the opposite of what Hay...Lee...Bar...Boor says and we will be OK.

    February 21, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. DeeVee

    How guilty do the Governors feel after running the Nation in debt and causing everything to rise to the nine's. Why didn't they stop President Bush?

    As an elderly lady living on a 1300. a Month Social Security Check. I hardly have enough to pay for medicine. I have to live on canned goods mostly Green Beans or dried Beans. It's a treat when I have a little ham to go in them.

    When the Gas went up to $4.00 A gal. groceries went up, as well as my medicine. When the gas came down the groceries and medicine didn't?

    That is all my expenses utilities, groceries, medicine, Medicare,and Insurance and I still don't have enough money.

    I know elderly that live on $400. and $500. a Month. They have to choose medicine or Groceries. Some choose what medicine and cook their beans or blackeyed peas and ocassionally the cheepest green's in the store. They too are missing meals.

    How could President Bush and the Governor's do such a thing to us? What kind of heart lives in such cruel people?

    February 21, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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