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Ted Cruz: I don't see why Texas should have to bail out states for irresponsibility

Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent Trump's NATO ambassador pledges 'seamless' transition to Biden administration MORE (R) said he is weary of massive aid for state governments in the next coronavirus stimulus bill if it serves as a bailout for poor financial decisions governors have made before the crisis.

“I don’t see any reason why the people of Texas should have to pay higher taxes to bail out states that have been irresponsible,” Cruz said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday. “If we’re focused on dealing with the coronavirus crisis that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to bail out states for fiscal irresponsibility and fiscally reckless policies.”

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During the interview, Cruz specifically named the $241 billion pension debt in Illinois, which is the highest in the nation. 

Congress provided $150 billion to state and local governments in the CARES Act passed in late March, and Democrats in the House are seeking as much as $1 trillion to help state and local governments in the next stimulus bill. 

Cruz's comments echo other Republican lawmakers who believe providing substantial aid would act as a bailout for state budget decisions that predate the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (R-Ky.) made remarks last month suggesting that cash-strapped states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy, which prompted blowback from state governors across the country. 

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The senator also said he told the mayor of Houston that he would press for “greater flexibility” in the money that is allocated from Congress. 

"There is a reasonable case to be made for greater flexibility for the money we have already sent to the states and local governments,” Cruz said.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Battle heats up for House Foreign Affairs gavel Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (D-Calif.) and House Democrats are expected to unveil a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package, even as McConnell has indicated that the Senate is pressing "pause" on emergency aid.