GOP lawmaker calls McConnell remarks on state bankruptcy 'shameful and indefensible'

Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingOn The Money: 3 million more Americans file for unemployment benefits | Sanders calls for Senate to 'improve' House Democrats' coronavirus bill | Less than 40 percent of small businesses have received emergency coronavirus loans GOP Rep. Pete King to buck party, vote for Democrats' coronavirus relief bill Bipartisan lawmakers call for Postal Service relief MORE (R-N.Y.) slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE’s (R-Ky.) comments after the senator said that he’s in favor of allowing states to declare bankruptcy in the wake of coronavirus responses that have seriously diminished state budgets. 

“.@senatemajldr 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,” King tweeted Wednesday. 

“To say that it is ‘free money’ to provide funds for cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate,” he added. 


McConnell said Tuesday in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that he supports letting states declare bankruptcy as they face budget constraints in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

A $484 billion bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday and expected to clear the House on Thursday did not include any new funding for state and local governments.

Congress provided $150 billion for state and local governments as part of last month's $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. 


Democrats have said additional funding for state and local governments is a top priority for the next coronavirus relief bill, and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Association of American Railroads Ian Jefferies says no place for hate, racism or bigotry in rail industry or society; Trump declares victory in response to promising jobs report Trump signs bill giving businesses more time to spend coronavirus loans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO's Michelle McMurry-Heath says 400 projects started in 16 weeks in biotech firms to fight virus, pandemic unemployment total tops 43 million MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE have appeared open to including such funding in the next package Congress passes. 

King’s home state of New York is the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New York reported a total of 257,216 confirmed COVID-19 cases and a total of 15,302 deaths on Wednesday.