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House GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments

House GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments
© Greg Nash

Top conservatives in the House are urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE not to support additional funding for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief bill, arguing that many of the states seeking financial support were economically mismanaged prior to the pandemic. 

In a letter — led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and signed by Reps. Doug LambornDouglas (Doug) LambornReport on military aviation crashes faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (Colo.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it Biden's Iran policy is deeply flawed MORE (S.C.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzMatt Gaetz warns GOP that arguments against legalizing marijuana increasingly unpopular Five Republicans vote for bill to decriminalize marijuana New Jersey investigating NY Young Republican Club party over social distancing MORE (Fla.), Van TaylorVan TaylorVan Taylor wins reelection to Texas seat held by GOP since 1968 Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage Biden pushes into Trump territory MORE (Texas), Russ Fulcher (Idaho), Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckOrganizations push congressional leaders to prioritize tech antitrust report The rhetoric of techlash: A source of clarity or confusion? Hillicon Valley: Congressional antitrust report rips tech firms | Facebook tightens ban on QAnon content | Social media groups urged to weed out disinformation targeting minority voters MORE (Colo.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it House rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol MORE (S.C.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership The Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas MORE (Texas), Ben ClineBenjamin (Ben) Lee ClineParties collide over police reform House GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments GOP lawmaker claims Democrats putting impeachment 'ahead of rule of law' MORE (Va.) and Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryHundreds of Trump supporters protest election results in Pennsylvania The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots Freedom Caucus member Scott Perry wins fifth term in Pennsylvania MORE (Pa.) —  sent to the president on Thursday, the lawmakers praised the administration’s response efforts, but voiced concerns that policies that allow spending on this scale could threaten the federalist system. 

“These great successes have not relieved the concerns we have for the future of our government. Traumatic national events such as this outbreak often lead to policies that grow the size and scope of government,” they wrote.  

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“Government leaders and all those affected naturally look for any sort of relief. But too often, our responses jeopardize the principles of federalism our nation was founded upon and we hold so dear,” they added.

The group argued that additional funding for state and local governments — a top priority for House Democrats in the next COVID-19 stimulus package — would be a misuse of funds that would have negative long-term effects on the nation’s economy. 

“The CARES Act, which was signed into law just over a month ago, appropriated $150 billion for state, local, and tribal governments. These funds are not loans that will be paid back. They are funds taken out of the pockets of struggling Americans to help cover the economic losses state and local governments are enduring from shutting down their economies,” they continued. 

“Our views may vary on the appropriateness of that initial allocation, but we stand united in opposing the appropriation of additional funds,” they said.

The lawmakers went on to say state governments should “be taking responsibility” for the fiscal decisions they’ve made in the past and for shutting down their economies amid the pandemic. 

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“States like New York, Illinois, and California have been vocal in their demands for funding to bail out their pension systems, which were failing long before the COVID-19 outbreak, and other programs that aren’t related to this crisis. While these states in particular prove the negative impacts of poor budgeting, bloated spending, and high taxes, the federal government should not be further backfilling the budget of any state or local government,” they continued. 

“Our Founding Fathers never intended for the federal government to be the behemoth it has become. They didn’t intend for the government to redistribute the wealth of Americans so that citizens of one state are forced to pay for the poor decisions made in another state," they said. "We must begin reversing this devastating trend.” 

The group noted that the structural deficit is expected to exceed $4 trillion this year, arguing the stimulus spending is unsustainable and called for states to begin to reopen. 

“As conversations related to further relief take place, please do not entrench the bad precedent for the federal government to pay the tab for state and local actions,” they said. “Before this outbreak, our economy was thriving due in large part to your efforts. We look forward to working with you to rebuild our economy to its former brilliance.” 

While conservatives have been vocal in their calls against providing state and local funding, proponents argued states like New York and New Jersey have been disproportionately affected by the deadly virus, therefore should receive funding to mitigate the fallout caused by the outbreaks seen in the states most heavily hit.