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

Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it 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 McConnellManchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks Biden needs to be both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Billionaire tax gains momentum 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 PelosiOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Democrats haggle as deal comes into focus Dem hopes for infrastructure vote hit brick wall 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.