Framing the Dialogue

Update – I Plead the Tenth

Update April 14, 2009 – Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today that he would back legislation proposed by fellow Republican state Representative Brandon Creighton in support of state’s rights as outlined in the Tenth Amendment of our Constitution.  House Concurrent Resolution 50, stated that:

“Affirming that the State of Texas claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates, and providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed.”

In announcing his support of the Resolution, Gov. Perry stated:

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state. That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.  Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas.”

Another governor has also thumb his nose at Washington.  Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has said that he will reject about $700 million in stimulus money for his state.  Gov. Sanford wanted to use the money to reduce debt, but was told by the White House that money could only be used for government services [entitlements].  Gov. Sanford expressed concern that after the stimulus money was gone, the programs created will require funding by the state.

“It cuts against the notion of federalism and the idea of each state having the flexibility to act in a manner that best suits its needs. As a result, we will not be seeking the use of these federal funds for the way they put our state even further into an unconscionable level of debt…. We simply cannot afford to base 10 percent of our state budget on money that will disappear in two years’ time.”

All may be lost at the state legislature can override the governor’s objections and take the money anyway.  It seems that a provision was placed in the stimulus legislation allowing this end run. 

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