COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Obama administration has rejected South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's request to use $700 million in federal stimulus cash to pay down state debt.
White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said in a letter to the Republican on Monday that the federal stimulus law doesn't allow President Barack Obama to make an exception for that cash. Sanford sought a waiver last week, asking to pay off debt rather than use the money to create jobs and avoid deep program cuts.
Sanford has criticized the $787 billion stimulus plan, saying it will lead to higher taxes and debt. And he is criticizing Obama and Democrats for airing an ad in the state that says the governor is playing politics with the stimulus cash instead of using it for health care, jobs and schools.