GOP Wrestles With Federal Stimulus Funds

RPOF_logo_800Editor’s Note – Can you have it both ways?  Apparently, some in the GOP think you can.

Is it not disingenous to criticize the Democrats for passing the Stimulus Bill, yet, taking advantage of it at the same time?  Certainly, the position to use these funds does not coincide with conservative values.

The Florida Legislature could have  made the hard choices to avoid this scenerio when in session, yet chose not to.  It will now be up to Rick Scott, should he prevail in November.  Scott is probably the better choice to take this challenge on anyway.


GOP Wrestles With Federal Stimulus Funds

As Rick Scott says no to aid, leading legislators in party say yes

By Gary Fineout

TALLAHASSEE – Even as Rick Scott, the Republican Party’s nominee for governor, campaigns on a platform that rejects Florida taking the federal stimulus, legislative leaders in Scott’s party continue to gladly accept the federal dollars.

A legislative budget panel, controlled by Republicans, did it again on Tuesday, approving the spending of more than $2.2 billion in federal aid over the next four years. The new round includes $554 million for school districts to pay teachers. It also includes money to help the state pay for health care for the indigent.

By approving the new round of stimulus funding, the legislative panel is tacitly rejecting one of the main planks of Scott’s candidacy – and doing so even as the candidate himself unveils a new TV ad denouncing the “failed stimulus.”

In his economic plan, Scott vows to “refuse temporary funding from the federal government that creates permanent spending in Florida.”

“I don’t believe in stimulus dollars; it’s not free money,” Scott said during the primary campaign. “It’s going to cost our kids and grandkids. I would have figured out how to balance the budget without it. All of our families we have to live within their means. Governments have to live within their means. There’s a day of reckoning.”

But Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Miami and chairman of the budget panel that approved accepting the money on Tuesday, said that while he supports Scott he has no regrets about accepting stimulus aid.

“I believe that Rick Scott and I need to have to some more discussions on critical need issues there were helped by the stimulus dollars,” Garcia said.

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