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

Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal 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 McConnellCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day 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 PelosiCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays 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.