Capitol Insider
By Marisa Lagos

Doesn’t look like California is going to get much financial help from its Senate delegation.

Just hours after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an impassioned argument for more federal funds — noting that the state gets back just 78 cents for every dollar it sends to Washington, D.C. — Senator Dianne Feinstein fired back. And she didn’t mince words.

“It sounds like the Governor is looking for someone else to blame for California’s budget. California’s budget crisis was created in Sacramento, not Washington. These problems are not going away until there is wholesale reform of the state’s budget process,” she said in a statement.

(It’s interesting to note that the governor’s pledge to fight for more federal cash was probably the only thing he said Wednesday that everyone in Sacramento agreed with.)

Feinstein — who is still rumored to be possible contender in this year’s gubernatorial race — apparently took exception to a number of Schwarzenegger’s comments in his state of the state address. Including when he said the current health care bill being debated back east will “push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states are getting sweetheart deals.” He also said the state’s congressional delegation should vote against the bill or fight for one of those “sweetheart deals.”

“California is facing a $20 billion deficit now, whether or not national healthcare reform is passed,” Feinstein shot back. “The Governor’s comparison of the most populous state in the nation to a small rural state is a red herring. The Nebraska provision he mentioned wouldn’t take effect until 2017 and would do nothing to help with California’s current budget problems.I am open to working with state leaders to find ways to help California in these tough times, but pointing fingers is not constructive.”

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