GOP lawmaker calls McConnell remarks on state bankruptcy ‘shameful and indefensible’

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’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 Mnuchin and President Trump 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. 

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Pete King Steven Mnuchin

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