Mitch McConnell Tells State and Local Governments They're On Their Own
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has no interest in helping struggling state and local governments make their way through the current economic crisis. In a series of interviews this week, he made clear his opposition to federal aid for what he calls a “blue state bailout.”
Instead of the government stepping in to help those hit by coronavirus, McConnell said state and local governments should be able to “use the bankruptcy route.”
“My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that,” McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”
In another interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, McConnell said he would try to limit any coronavirus aid for state and local governments. Never mind that the blue states McConnell dismisses contribute the bulk of revenue to federal coffers.
“We're not interested in solving their pension problems for them. We're not interested in rescuing them from bad decisions they've made in the past, we're not going to let them take advantage of this pandemic to solve a lot of problems that they created themselves and bad decisions in the past," he said, channeling his inner Marie Antoinette.
McConnell's remarks earned rebukes from several state and local leaders, including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Not all Republicans are too keen on stiffing states and localities in a time of need, however. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) signaled a very different position on Wednesday.
The skyrocketing unemployment rate and subsequent decline in tax revenue has left local gov’ts stretched to the limit.
As I told Ohio's county commissioners on our call this morning, I'm working w/ my colleagues to secure additional and more flexible funding.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) April 22, 2020
Read more at Politico.
Photo by Gage Skidmore