WASHINGTON—Members of the National Governors Association (NGA) Executive Committee met with President Obama and Vice President Biden today at the White House. Governors discussed the ongoing negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff and the implications these federal decisions will have on states. Governors will hold additional meetings this afternoon with Congressional leadership. After the meeting at the White House, they released the following statement:

“We are grateful for the opportunity to meet with the President to discuss the fiscal cliff and its implications for states. States and the federal government have important responsibilities and obligations to our citizens. While each governor has a unique set of circumstances in his or her state, all of us feel it is important to find solutions that will put our country back on firm, financial footing.

“Our goal is to be constructive participants in the fiscal cliff negotiations. As governors, we have found ways to do more with less in our states. We know that changes in tax policy and spending are likely; when they are made in ways that dramatically affect states, they must be done equitably and in close collaboration with governors.

“We also encourage the President and Congress to adhere to the following principles for federal deficit reduction during their negotiations:

  • Federal reforms should produce savings for both the federal government and states;
  • Deficit reduction should not be accomplished by merely shifting costs to states or imposing unfunded mandates;
  • States should be given increased flexibility to create efficiencies and achieve results; and
  • Congress should not impose maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions on states as a condition of funding.

“We must find a way to implement changes in a way that is consistent with the needs of our states while meeting important national goals. We look forward to working with the federal government on this critical issue.”

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NOTE TO EDITORS:  Governors attending the meeting included: Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, NGA Chair; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, NGA Vice Chair; Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe; Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton; Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.