Last week before the Generational Theft Act was rammed through, I called the sneaky provision to prevent governors from turning down stimulus money the “Punish Mark Sanford Amendment.”
South Carolina Rep. and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn stuck the language into the bill to target GOP S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford — a leading fiscal conservative critic of porkulus — and usurp his executive authority. A reminder of the language:
SEC. 1607. (a) CERTIFICATION BY GOVERNOR — Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, for funds provided to any State or agency thereof, the Governor of the State shall certify that: 1) the State request and use funds provided by this Act , and; 2) funds be used to create jobs and promote economic growth.
(b) ACCEPTANCE BY STATE LEGISLATURE — If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State.
Is this legal? Will it be tested? Sanford is reportedly weighing his decision on stimulus funding as we speak.
And though targeted at Sanford, the amendment could be wielded against other fiscally conservative governors.
Louisiana’s GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal may not take some of the porkulus money, either. Will his executive authority be overriden by the Clyburn provision, too?
Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry may also decline the money.