U.S. Rep. James Clyburn said Tuesday South Carolina lawmakers should challenge Gov. Mark Sanford in court as to who controls $700 million in disputed federal aid.
Clyburn urged the General Assembly to use $350 million — the portion of the money that is available this year — to balance the state’s budget, spending the money on schools and law enforcement.
"I don't know why anybody would fail to do what you think is the right thing to do because you’re afraid you might get sued," Clyburn said. "If they get sued, then that’s what the courts are for."
Clyburn said the S.C. Supreme Court could settle the dispute quickly.
There are indications S.C. lawmakers could follow Clyburn’s counsel.
Senate Finance chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, said last week that lawmakers could include the stimulus money in the state budget and allow the courts to decide who controls it.
Meanwhile, legislators informally were working on solutions to the stimulus impasse.
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