N.Y. senators request unwanted funding

The Empire State’s two Democratic senators say they’ll take any money from the economic stimulus plan that Republican governors decide to leave on the table.

Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurf war derails bipartisan push on surprise medical bills Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA CEO group pushes Trump, Congress on paid family, medical leave MORE and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAdvocacy groups decry Trump's 'anti-family policies' ahead of White House summit This bipartisan plan is the most progressive approach to paid parental leave Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' MORE issued a statement calling on President Obama to divert to New York any funds that go unallocated. Several governors have recently stated they would decline the stimulus funds because accompanying federal requirements would actually hurt their state financially.

“If any governor - Democrat or Republican - leaves stimulus money on the table, then we respectfully request that funds be distributed to New York,” Schumer and Gillibrand wrote.  “We will put the money to good use, investing in education and new infrastructure, such as healthcare IT and high-speed rail.”

Schumer and Gillibrand singled out GOP Govs. Mark Sanford (S.C.), Rick Perry (Texas), Bobby Jindal (La.), Haley Barbour (Miss.) and Sarah Palin (Alaska) for criticizing the stimulus plan and suggesting they will decline funds.

Schumer and Gillibrand aren’t the first politicians to offer to accept rejected money. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger , also a Republican, has broken with his colleagues to make a similar offer, as has Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan.

Some governors may see their states get money even if they want to decline it: House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) inserted a provision into the stimulus that allows state legislatures to accept stimulus money if their governor doesn't accept it. The provision requires legislatures to simply adopt a concurrent resolution as a show of acceptance.

Clyburn spokeswoman Kristi Greco said Clyburn inserted the provision after learning Perry and Sanford planned to reject the funds for their states. He then raised it with Obama, who was supportive.

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