NJ, NY governors blast McConnell for pushing 'bankruptcy route' for states: 'Repugnant'
The governors of New York and New Jersey, two of the states hardest hit by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, on Wednesday denounced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for suggesting that states could “use the bankruptcy route” instead of receiving financial assistance from the federal government.
"It’s one of the dumb statements of all time," he added.
“Encouraging, explicitly almost hoping for bankruptcies of American states in the midst of the biggest health care crisis this country has ever faced is completely and utterly irresponsible,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said during a news briefing, according to Politico.
The comments from the governors arrived as states around the country face budget challenges prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the mass closings of nonessential businesses and schools around the nation.
Congress allocated $150 billion to states in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law last month. But the latest $484 billion relief bill passed by the Senate and expected to be approved by the House on Thursday includes no new funding for local governments.
Speaking about the issue during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, McConnell floated the idea of letting states go bankrupt to receive some form of aid.
"There’s no good reason for it not to be available," McConnell said, noting that states' 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."