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Some states fight stimulus

Published: Tue, March 3, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — For small-government die-hards, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill recently passed by Congress isn’t a life saver. It’s the last straw.

Lawmakers across the country are sponsoring resolutions — most of them only symbolic — asserting state sovereignty, in effect the right to ignore any federal law or policies they deem unconstitutional, including the stimulus bill, the No Child Left Behind Act and any new assault rifle ban.

In New Hampshire, the House is scheduled to vote on Republican state Rep. Daniel Itse’s resolution Wednesday. Supporters are planning a rally at the Statehouse before the vote.

“I think that the specter of some assaults on our liberty have become so real and immediate that there is a reaction,” Itse said.

Lawmakers in at least 15 states are sponsoring similar resolutions. They say they’re fighting back against decades of federal overreach, culminating in the stimulus package.

“This has been a progression from (the New Deal) days to today, with the only break being Ronald Reagan,” South Carolina state Rep. Michael Pitts said by e-mail. Pitts, a Republican, has a resolution pending in the South Carolina House. “The stimulus bill is simply propellant for the resistance.”

In January, 22 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center disapproved of the stimulus. That number rose to 34 percent in February. plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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