State Watch

Whitmer: ‘Incredibly irresponsible’ for McConnell to let states declare bankruptcy

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for saying he supports letting states declare bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic, calling the remarks “incredibly irresponsible.” 

“I was really disappointed to see Sen. McConnell’s comments about letting the states go bankrupt,” Whitmer said on MSNBC. “I just think that it’s incredibly irresponsible.”

McConnell on Wednesday said he would be in favor of allowing states to declare bankruptcy rather than Congress passing an aid package for states cash-strapped by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of,” McConnell said Wednesday.

He also blamed state pension plans for why some states are experiencing budget problems. 

Whitmer is one of a number of Democratic officials who have criticized McConnell’s remarks. 

Congress allocated $150 billion in last month’s $2.2 trillion relief package for state and local governments, though governors across the country are forecasting the need for billions more to help deal with exploding expenses.

Another $484 billion package that passed through the Senate on Tuesday did not include any new funding for state and local governments despite Democrats’ clamoring to include extra funds.

President Trump has offered support for helping state and local governments in a new coronavirus relief package, but McConnell has been cool to that suggestion. 

Whitmer sounded the alarm that her state was looking at a $3 billion hit to Michigan’s budget due to the state government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus.

“It will undermine everything from public health to education if we don’t get the kind of support we need out of Washington, D.C.,” she said. 

Michigan has had nearly 34,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 2,800 deaths.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

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