Obama to meet with governors about economic crisis

President-elect Barack Obama is meeting with the country's governors on Tuesday to talk about how the economic crisis is affecting their states, CNN reported.

President-elect Barack Obama will talk with governors about how their states are affected by the economy.

President-elect Barack Obama will talk with governors about how their states are affected by the economy.

The national governors' meeting, taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, comes a day after the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the United States' economy to be in a recession.

The governors are asking the president-elect for federal money to help them get their states back on track.

Obama's remarks before the National Governors Association will be carried live on CNN and CNN.com at 10 a.m. ET.

Obama and congressional Democrats have pledged to pass an economic stimulus package when Obama takes office in January. House Democrats said Monday that they will push for an economic recovery package of up to $500 billion.

The governors want about $136 billion to use for what they call "ready-to-go projects," like water and sewer projects or building roads and bridges. They want another $40 billion to go toward Medicaid programs.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who is chairman of the National Governors Association, says that for every $1 billion the states get from the federal government, the governors believe they can create 40,000 jobs.

"This is the best way to recharge the American economy," Rendell said Tuesday on CNN's "American Morning."

Rendell said the governors are going to ask for a strong commitment to infrastructure repair, including bridges, roads, highways and schools.

He said he hopes the federal government will also help the states with their Medicaid burden.

"When the economy is bad, the social service demands grow. When the economy is bad, people lose health care. And that means many of them come to the Medicaid system. And we need help in sharing that burden," he said at a news conference Monday. "By no means are we looking to the federal government to relieve us of that responsibility. We know first and foremost it's our responsibility. But we do need some help."

But not all governors support turning to the federal government for help. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Republican governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Rick Perry of Texas urged governors "from both sides of the political aisle to join with us in opposing further federal bailout intervention."

"The federal government is not only burying future generations under mountains of debt. It is also taking our country in a very dangerous direction -- toward a 'bailout mentality' where we look to government rather than ourselves for solutions," they wrote.

Rendell, however, disputed the notion that governors are after a bailout.

"Investing in the country's infrastructure, investing in renewable energy -- those aren't bailouts. These are things that actually produce jobs, unlike the bailouts that we've seen of Wall Street and of the banks, that don't produce one new job," he said.

"We're not coming to the president-elect and saying 'Help us' without having taken steps to help ourselves," he said.

Obama's meeting with the governors comes a day after he rolled out his national security team. Obama announced his economic team one week earlier.

The president-elect on Monday announced Sen. Hillary Clinton as his pick for secretary of state, calling her an "American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence."

Obama also confirmed that he is keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post.

Rounding out his Monday announcements, Obama named retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as his national security adviser, Eric Holder as attorney general, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary and Susan Rice as ambassador to the United Nations.

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