POLITICS
05/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Sent "Blunt, Personal Letter" To SC Gov. Over Stimulus: Palmetto Scoop

According to an unconfirmed report from a local conservative publication, The Palmetto Scoop, President Obama sent a "very blunt, personal letter" to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, telling the governor that his state may lose all its federal stimulus money if Sanford does not apply for the cash before the deadline.

The correspondence reportedly states that roughly $700 million in discretionary stimulus money allocated for South Carolina will be revoked on Friday if Sanford declines to accept the funds and that, by law, no alternative options can be accepted.

Sanford had previously requested to use stimulus funds to pay down his state's debts, but Obama declined the proposal.

State lawmakers worry that Stanford's proposal could put some 4,700 jobs at risk. The White House ruled that only the governor has the authority to reject or accept the funds.

White House budget chief Peter Orszag (OHR'-zag) says there is no provision in the stimulus law for state lawmakers to accept that money without approval by the governor. South Carolina's Republican governor, Mark Sanford, has said he may decline more than $700 million in stimulus money because the White House won't let him spend the money to pay down his state's debt.

The issue may end up in the courts as a "constitutional standoff" however, according to state Attorney General Henry McMaster..

If a lawsuit is filed to resolve the standoff, a court could enjoin the spending of the stimulus money while the case proceeds, McMaster said.