McConnell says no ‘blue state’ coronavirus bailouts, effectively telling New York to drop dead

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell is effectively telling New York and other coronavirus-stricken states to drop dead.
The iron-fisted Senate majority leader announced Wednesday that his Republican caucus won’t support federal bailouts for New York and other states under enormous economic pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing harsh backlash from both sides of the aisle.
“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. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of," McConnell (R-Ky.) said of hard-hit states like New York during an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s right-wing radio show.
Instead, McConnell suggested Congress could tinker with Chapter 9 laws so states can restructure their mounting debts by declaring bankruptcy — an option that’s currently only available to cities and local governments.
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” he said.
The Kentucky senator added later in the interview, "There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”
Gov. Cuomo has pleaded for a federal bailout for weeks and says New York could suffer a $15 billion revenue shortfall because of the pandemic, with businesses shuttered and hundreds of thousands of Empire State residents forced into unemployment.
The governor did not mince words when asked about McConnell’s comments during an afternoon appearance on WAMC.
“That is one of the saddest, really dumb comments of all time,” the governor said. “OK, let’s have all the states declare bankruptcy ... That’s how you want to reopen by bankrupting the states? I mean, it’s just a really dumb statement.”
New York Rep. Max Rose, who recently wrapped up a National Guard deployment to help out with coronavirus response on his native Staten Island, dared McConnell to come to his neck of the woods.
“I want to take him to the police precincts in my district on Staten Island, in South Brooklyn to meet the cops, I want to take him to the firehouses, I want to take him to meet the nurses, I want to take him to meet the bus drivers, I want to take him to meet the sanitation workers — everybody who’s out there putting their neck on the line right now ... and have him tell them to drop dead to their face," Rose told the Daily News.
The fuming Staten Island Democrat added, “The only type of person who would do or say something like this is a piece of human trash. I have no doubt in my mind.”
Underscoring the partisan nature of his remarks, McConnell’s office released a transcript of the Hewitt interview in which his comments about bailouts were placed under a subhead reading “On Stopping Blue State Bailouts.”
McConnell’s remarks carried unmistakable echoes of President Gerald Ford’s infamous threat in 1975 to veto any federal bailout passed by Congress for New York City’s then-near bankrupt government. The 38th president’s bailout refusal resulted in the Daily News’ legendary “Ford to City: Drop Dead” front page.

McConnell’s modern-day “drop dead” slight came one day after President Trump vowed that he, for one, would support including state bailouts in the next economic stimulus package being worked on by Congress.

At least one Republican member of Congress did not take kindly to McConnell’s bailout blather.

“McConnell’s dismissive remark that states devastated by coronavirus should go bankrupt rather than get the federal assistance they need and deserve is shameful and indefensible,” tweeted Long Island Rep. Pete King, who’s retiring at the end of this term. “To say that it is 'free money’ to provide funds for cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate.”

McConnell’s chamber passed a $484 billion coronavirus package Tuesday that includes emergency funds for small businesses, hospitals and increased COVID-19 testing capacities.

Democrats argued that the package should’ve included bailouts for hard-hit state governments as well, but McConnell and his Republican majority stood firm. The House is expected to consider the Senate-approved bill Thursday.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.