Jindal defends not taking stimulus money

Feb. 22, 2009 at 9:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Sunday defended his decision not to take a portion of the national economic stimulus package.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Republican governor said his state will forego some of the money because he said President Barack Obama's plan is flawed.

"I think the president had a chance, if he had worked with the Republicans instead of allowing Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi to write this bill, if he had worked with the Republicans to say, 'Let's really invest in our infrastructure, let's do targeted temporary spending, let's do some tax cuts, let's get the economy moving,'" Jindal said. "I don't think we're going to solve our economic challenges with government spending."

Appearing on the same program, Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he will accept what money he can to help the Sunshine State.

"I think my obligation as the CEO of the state is to do everything I can to help us get through this tough economy," Crist said. "Certainly this stimulus package -- roughly $12.2 billion to Florida will help Florida an awful lot."

Crist said his state is in too critical an economic state to reject federal funds.

"This is going to help in our education in Florida by about $3.5 billion. It's going to help us with Medicaid -- and the vulnerable among us that really need help and need it now, and that will be in excess of $5 billion for Florida and will also help us with road construction and producing jobs," Crist said.

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