Cornyn pushes amendment barring Detroit bailout

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Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and a state-appointed city emergency manager filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, making Detroit the largest city in U.S. history to announce it would not be able to pay off all its obligations.

Republicans have been quick to halt any talk of a federal rescue of the city's ailing finances, but the White House has also indicated the issue is one to be resolved at the local level.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said shortly after the news broke that the Obama administration would offer what assistance and advice it could, but did not indicate a federal rescue was on the table.

"I think it's been made clear by local leaders and state leaders that the broader issue is one that has to be resolved by the city and its creditors," Carney said. "We will of course, as we would with any city in this country, work with that city and have policy discussions with leaders in the city and make suggestions and offer assistance where we can."

Cornyn is trying to include the amendment as part of a transportation and housing appropriations package the Senate is currently considering on the floor. 

The text of the amendment specifies Detroit by name, but would also apply to any other bankrupt municipalities. The amendment would bar any federal financial relief to a struggling city, including lines of credit or other types of financial aid.

The amendment would also go so far as to bar any federal funds from a bankrupt city until local officials have "demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the solvency and generally sound financial condition of the local governmental entity."