On the Hugh Hewitt radio show this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that states should file bankruptcy to help offset their financial straits during the coronavirus.
"I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to go the bankruptcy route," McConnell said. "It's saved some cities, and there's no good reason for it not to be available."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been asking for state and local funds to be included in the congressional coronavirus relief packages, told McConnell what he thought of the idea during his Thursday press conference in Albany.
"Senator McConnell goes and he says, 'maybe the states should declare bankruptcy.' This is one of the really dumb ideas of all time."
If Cuomo was in Washington, he would have "insisted" that state and local funding is in this current bill because state and local governments fund police, fire, teachers and schools.
WATCH: NY Gov. Cuomo criticizes Sen. McConnell’s remarks on state coronavirus aid:— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 23, 2020
"You're not going to fund the state government?... states should declare bankruptcy? That's how you're going to bring this national economy back?"https://t.co/exCXOKwpap
"You want to see that market fall through the cellar?" Cuomo asked. "Let New York State declare bankruptcy. You will see a collapse of this national economy."
Cuomo added that it was "vicious" and "ugly" for McConnell to suggest that the request was a "blue state bailout," considering New York puts more money into the federal government than Kentucky does.
"How ugly a thought," Cuomo said. "Just think of what he's saying. People died. 15,000 people died in New York. but they were predominantly Democrats, so why should we help them? I mean, for crying out loud, if there was ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness and your partisanship and this political lens that you see the world through...that's not who we are."
The governor then lectured McConnell that as governor of New York, he's governor of everyone. Democrat or Republican and that he "doesn't care" what your party is.
Really? Well that would be news to the pro-life conservatives who were told that they're "not welcome" in the Empire State a few years back.
McConnell, who rightly chided Democrats for delaying a vote on the Paycheck Protection Program for weeks, explained that he and his colleagues wanted to take care of small businesses and their employees first, and then in a few weeks consider assisting state and local governments. The already ballooning national debt demands it.
"I mean, we all represent states," the Republican leader said. "We all have governors regardless of party who would love to have free money. And that’s why I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here, because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments need[s] to be thoroughly evaluated."
Asked if he plans to contact McConnell about his request, Cuomo said no.
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