They complain, they say they’re a’gin it, they show up on the Faux News Channel to mouth unintelligible random health care obstruction talking points, but when it comes down to it, Missouri republicans, in all their hypocrisy, will still take the check. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) called their bluff:
McCaskill: Should Federal Government Continue State Stimulus Aid?
Asks state legislators how resulting state budget cuts would hurt Missourians
February 9, 2010
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill sent a letter today to leaders in the Missouri State Capitol asking for their input on whether the federal government should rescind previously passed but as of yet unspent aid for state governments that was part of the federal stimulus bill. In the letter, she also asks whether additional aid from the federal government for state governments should be provided during these difficult economic times.
As the state begins to determine budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2011, McCaskill is asking leaders in Jefferson City for more information on how federal aid is being used in this year’s state budget, as well as what programs and services the state would cancel in next year’s budget if the federal government chooses not to extend any additional aid.
“Washington doesn’t know best,” McCaskill wrote in an open letter to state elected officials. “That’s why three-fourths of the [stimulus] money has gone to the states, tax cuts, and unemployment and COBRA benefits. If you want us to rescind the remaining money that you will spend this year and next, please let me know how Missourians will be hurt, so I can make an informed decision.”
McCaskill, who has fought against bad spending habits in Washington over the last three years, has heard from many state legislators that they are unhappy that the federal government provided financial aid to states last year as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. However, since the state government is required to balance their budget, they used approximately $1.5 billion of this federal aid in their Fiscal Year 2010 budget and are set to use $858 million in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. McCaskill also asked for clarity on what areas of state budget would have been cut last year had the lawmakers not had available the $1.5 billion in federal aid…
…Although McCaskill sent the request as an open to letter to all state legislators, she also sent individual copies to the leadership of both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives.
The letter. [pdf]
Okay, that’s a start. It would have been nice if our Democratic members of Congress had acted like, you know, Democrats nine months ago.
And, as for those republicans in control of everything in Jefferson City, are they willing to play chicken with Missouri’s economy and the quality of life for everyone in the state?