Obama's Governors Conference

December 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Barack Obama's transition process took him to a conference of the nation's governors Tuesday.Within the walls of Philadelphia's Independence Hall Tuesday morning, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden met with 40 current and future governors to talk money.

"As President, I will not simply ask our nation's governors to help implement our economic recovery plan. I will ask you to help design that plan," said Obama.

Despite differing ideologies, the governors are all united by the economic crisis and its impact on their states and shrinking budgets. Tuesday they discussed the need for help from the federal government.

"In PA-you can imagine the pain-that's happening on a state-by-state basis," said Gov. Ed Rendell (D) Pennsylvania.

In Massachusetts, the governor recently announced more than $1 billion in cuts to rein in a potential budget shortfall. Across the country in California, just yesterday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency as the state faces a budget deficit that exceeds $11-billion dollars. Ohio is facing a potential $7-billion dollar deficit for the next budget cycle.

"The truth of the matter is as corny as it sounds we are all in this boat together and if you sink the country sinks," said Biden.

41 states currently face budget deficits. Gov Jim Douglas (R) Vermont said, "We are really all in this together feeling the pinch of this economic downturn..."

The governors are asking the incoming administration for as much as $136-billion dollars worth of infrastructure projects and at least another 40 billion dollars.



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