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U.S. Rep. Peter King slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for spreading a “total lie” in his comments on the coronavirus crisis.
The New York Republican claimed his state subsidizes McConnell’s state of Kentucky during a Fox News interview in which he called out comments about filing bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Source: Fox News)
King spoke on “The Story” Friday about recent comments made by McConnell on states awaiting federal assistance.
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” McConnell said on the “The Hugh Hewitt Show” this week, adding that there was “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,” the Kentucky Republican added.
Senators “are not interested in revenue replacement for state governments,” McConnell later told “Bill Hemmer Reports,” adding that “we are not interested in solving their pension problems and all these other things that they would like for us to finance.”
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum spoke with King about McConnell’s remarks which sparked immediate backlash from both sides of the political aisle, despite it being Hewitt who first raised the issue of states being able to declare bankruptcy.
Proud to go on national television to condemn @senatemajldr McConnell’s disgraceful remark that states like NY & NJ should go bankrupt rather than receive federal funds to pay cops, firefighters & healthcare workers risking their lives to fight Coronavirus! Morally Indefensible!! pic.twitter.com/naG05O3kQg
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) April 23, 2020
“That’s the argument, that so much money is going out the door and some companies, as well as some states, are going to look at this as an opportunity to fill their coffers to make up for past misdeeds and budgets that don’t work,” the Fox News anchor said.
“No, that’s a total lie being spread by Mitch McConnell,” King shot back.
“No one is looking for any money other than that we’ve lost directly because of the coronavirus. We’re talking about paying the cops, the firefighters, the doctors, all of the lost revenue also because of coronavirus. This has nothing to do with pensions, nothing to do with state spending,” the New York lawmaker said.
“None of the money we’re talking about, none of the funding would be in any way tied to state policies. It’s entirely because of the coronavirus, because of the shutdown,” King contended.
“I am not a big fan of Governor Cuomo as far as his policies as governor, I think he’s doing a very good job as far as the coronavirus is concerned,” King said of New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo before pointing out how his own home county of Nassau on Long Island has almost twice the number of coronavirus related deaths as the entire state of California.
“Forty percent of the county budget comes from sales tax,” he said. “Sales taxes are [going to be] near zero for the next few months, so how do you make up that in the budget? That’s directly because of the coronavirus.”
“So, Mitch McConnell says we should go bankrupt. One of the reasons New York has problems otherwise is because we subsidize Kentucky,” King claimed. “We get many billions less back from the federal treasury than we pay in, while Mitch McConnell and Kentucky gets billions more than they’re entitled to.”
The GOP congressman, who is retiring, called McConnell the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate” after his widely criticized comments this week.
…cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate.
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) April 23, 2020
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland thought McConnell would come to regret his words.
“Mitch McConnell, I think, probably regrets saying that,” the Republican said. “If he doesn’t regret it yet, I think he will regret it.”
During his Thursday press briefing, Gov. Cuomo called the bankruptcy suggestion “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
“Not to fund state and local governments is incredibly short-sighted. They want to fund small businesses, fund the airlines, I understand that, but state and local governments fund police and fire and teachers and schools. How do you not fund police and fire and teachers and schools in the midst of this crisis?” Cuomo said.
But some GOP lawmakers agreed with McConnell and pointed to years of mismanagement by some states that put them in vulnerable positions in the emergency.
States should always plan for a rainy day just like any business. I disagree that states should take Fed money or be bailed out. This will lead to taxpayers paying for mismanagement of poorly run states. States need to tighten up, make some cuts, and manage.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) April 23, 2020
NY and other left wing states have been terribly mismanaged for years. Kowtowing to labor unions by approving generous taxpayer funded benefits in exchange for votes has left them with billion dollar shortfalls. Blame yourself @NYGovCuomo, not @senatemajldr.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 23, 2020
“Sen. Cruz has expressed concerns that allowing states to use that relief to prop up their underfunded pension plans would be a windfall paid – in part – by taxpayers from more fiscally prudent states like Texas,” Lauren Aronson, a spokeswoman for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said.
“He instead believes these funds should be directed towards new, coronavirus-related expenditures and also to ensuring resources for vital law enforcement responsibilities,” she added.
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