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 TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? 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) LambornCourt fines baker 0 for refusing to make gender transition cake Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' MORE (Colo.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court rules that pipeline can seize land from New Jersey | Study: EPA underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas development | Kevin McCarthy sets up task forces on climate, other issues GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' MORE (S.C.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzLawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act Performance or performance art? A question for voters in 2022 (and 2024) Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections MORE (Fla.), Van TaylorVan TaylorShakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel House Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress MORE (Texas), Russ Fulcher (Idaho), Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckHillicon Valley: Biden: Social media platforms 'killing people' | Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push | Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' Top House antitrust Republican forms 'Freedom from Big Tech Caucus' Bipartisan group calls on Biden to clarify reasoning for Syria airstrikes MORE (Colo.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanEthics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers GOP lawmakers press airlines on flight cancellations 'I want to cry': House Republicans take emotional trip to the border MORE (S.C.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyJuan Williams: Republicans prefer Trump's fantasies over truth and facts The Hill's Morning Report - Biden renews families plan pitch; Senate prepares to bring infrastructure package to floor House Republican says colleagues' 'job' is to slow Democratic priorities MORE (Texas), Ben ClineBenjamin (Ben) Lee ClineGOP votes to dump Cheney from leadership Virginia GOP set for wild, unpredictable convention Garland emphasizes national security, civil rights in budget hearing MORE (Va.) and Scott PerryScott Gordon Perry21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Republicans seek to sink Jan. 6 commission DCCC targets Republicans for touting stimulus bill they voted against 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.