Gov. Nikki Haley speaks in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 25th, 2013.
Washington, D.C. (WLTX) - Governor Nikki Haley sharply criticized federal lawmakers over their inability to reach an agreement preventing mandatory federal spending cuts.
Haley spoke at a news conference Monday during the Republican Governor's Association meeting in Washington. She, along with other state chief executives, had just finished meeting with President Obama and Congressional leaders.
"I could not be more frustrated than I am right now," Haley said Monday. "How many more times are the governors going to have to pick up the mess of Washington DC? How many more times are we going to have to deal with these issues over and over again because of the finger pointing and the blame game that keeps on happening in Washington?"
Obama and Congressional leaders have until March 1st to reach a compromise, or a series of "sequestration" measures will take effect. These cuts, agreed upon last year, would make deep, across the board slashes to education, health care, and military programs.
The cuts, which are unpopular among Democrats and Republicans, were supposed to serve as a spur to lawmakers to reach an alternative solution. So far, that hasn't happened.
Sunday night, the White House sent a letter which estimated that the cuts would mean a loss of $100 million in funds to South Carolina this year alone.
"Something's wrong," Haley said. "My kids could go and find $83 billion out of a $4 trillion budget. This is not rocket science. What this is is an inability to want to get to work. No one should be going home. No one should be playing golf. No one should be taking vacations. What they need to do is do what these governors do everyday. We stay until we get it done."
"What I will tell you is - we heard today a whole lot of no. And that seems to be the new word in DC is "no" from everybody."
"But you know as a daughter of immigrant parents, the American dream - what was the American dream? You could be anything you wanted to be and government was going to stay out of your way. Has there ever been more of a time where government was more intrusive than it is today? And to the point where it is really psychotic. There is something very wrong in this town."