February 12, 2009
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For many Republican governors, the $789 billion U.S. economic stimulus package is the equivalent of cod liver oil: they'll take it, but don't expect them to like it.
While almost every Republican in Congress has firmly opposed the huge spending bill, the nation's 22 Republican governors, including many possible presidential candidates, have struggled to reconcile their party's small-government philosophy with their need to patch shredded state budgets.
Some suggested they might not accept their share of the billions earmarked to help states pay their bills, but most have said they will accept the money even if they think the bill is flawed. . .
(Louisiana Governor Bobby) Jindal can't afford to leave that money on the table, but "he has to grumble about it while he stuffs it in his pocket," said Southern Methodist University Professor Cal Jillson.
(Minnesota Governor Tim) Pawlenty, another presidential prospect, has derided the package as wasteful but plans to use $920 million to help close his state's $4.8 billion budget deficit.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who became a favorite of conservatives after her vice-presidential run last year, has said she will have to consider the benefits and drawbacks of accepting federal cash.
Observers expect they will take the money, said Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson.
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