Entries in Republican Governors Association (3)


Republican Governors Take Aim at Obama's Health Care Olive Branch

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite President Obama’s support for a proposal that would give states the chance to opt out of requirements of the nation’s health care reform law earlier than previously allowed, two leading Republican governors on Monday said the administration’s olive branch was not enough.

While meeting with a bipartisan group of governors at the White House, the president endorsed a plan that would let states come up with alternative health care plans through a waiver process starting in 2014 -- three years earlier than current law allows.

“The waiver really doesn’t address the major structural flaw that all of us are facing right now,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told reporters in Washington on Monday. “I have great concern that the administration is not going to go forward with the flexibility that we’re asking for.”

Perry, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, added “governors just want freedom to manage their states as they and their citizens see fit.”

The wide-ranging discussion, which included Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, touched not only on health care, but also on the president’s budget, competitive governors’ races, the 2012 election and the current political tug-of-war in Wisconsin.

The RGA announced that starting on Tuesday it would begin running a “Stand with Scott Walker” campaign in Wisconsin that will include television and radio ads on behalf of the Republican governor who is locked in a dispute with Democrats and unions over his plan to take away public employees' collective bargaining rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Republican Governors Issue Complaint over Federal Health Care Law

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Twenty-one Republican governors sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday detailing how and why they would like President Obama's health care reform law to be changed.

This move follows a ruling last month by a Florida court which decided the health care overhaul was unconstitutional but did not urge any action to stop its implementation.

The letter signed by the governors presents Sebelius with a six-point plan which is focused around returning power over health care implementation to the individual states.

"We hope the administration will accommodate our states' individual circumstances and needs, as we believe the (law) in its current form threatens to destroy our budgets and perpetuate and magnify the most costly aspects of our health care system," the governors wrote.

The group argues that states should have been allowed more input on the law.

While the GOP governors were busy making their case, the White House also responded Monday afternoon. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered examples of where the new law was already being put into action.

"Last week the state of Wisconsin, despite the attorney general’s participation in the lawsuit, the state of Wisconsin announced that the implementation moves forward.  And I would point out that one of the statehouses in the Commonwealth of Virginia passed by a vote, I think, of 95-3 to begin setting up health care exchanges.  I think that's pretty clear indications that the implementation of this important law move forward," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

The governors of both Virginia and Wisconsin are Republicans. Republican governors from eight states, including Alaska, Arizona, Florida, North Dakota, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wyoming, did not sign the letter. Gibbs said it was likely President Obama had not addressed the letter as of Monday.

"I don't know that we have had specific outreach. I know the Governors Association is in town later this month.  But our policy has and continues to be that implementation moves forward," said Gibbs, hinting at a possible meeting between President Obama and some of the nation's top Republicans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New GOP Governors Introduced to RGA; Focused on Budgets

Photo Courtesy - Governor [dot] State [dot] MN [dot] US(SAN DIEGO) --  Like a proud parent, Republican Governors Association Vice Chairman and outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was happy to show off a crop of newly-elected governors to a crowded room of RGA donors, members and the media.  As he introduced each of the five “new faces of the GOP” Wednesday afternoon, Pawlenty mentioned the amount of money the RGA contributed to the efforts of many of those campaigns.

Of course, it helps Pawlenty, a likely 2012 nominee, to get close with many of these newbies.  Governor-elect Nikki Haley hails from South Carolina which hosts one of the first primaries in 2012.

The four other panelists on the “New Faces” panel, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett, Nevada Governor-elect Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Governor.-elect Susana Martinez, represent swing states that will be key to the chances of any Republican nominee in 2012.

Aware of the bleak fiscal situation facing them when they take office in January, the newly-elected executives said they were focused on being honest with voters about the difficult cuts and choices that await them.

Ohio’s Kasich, whose state is looking at an $8 billion budget hole, told his colleagues that “you weren’t elected to be re-elected.”  When it comes to shrinking the size of government, he said, you can’t “play favorites.  If [government programs] don’t work, get rid of them.”

Haley, who survived a rough-and-tumble primary and general election campaign, told the audience, “We have to be honest with the people of our state.  We need to say this is going to hurt.  We’re going to struggle.  But we have to make sure we don’t make political decisions the first year.  We make the right decision.”  And, she noted, “if we do that, we will come out of this challenge in year two and three stronger and more competitive than when we started.”

What was as notable was what the governors-elect didn't say. There was no talk of social issues, and even health care reform barely was addressed, though it’s clearly unpopular among this crowd.  Instead, the focus was almost 100 percent on economic and budgetary issues.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio