Trump puts states asking for bailout money on notice: We’d want ‘sanctuary city adjustments’

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If you noticed the phrase “quid pro quo” trending Tuesday night, you weren’t having flashbacks to House Democrats’ failed impeachment ploy against President Donald Trump.

(Knowing Democrats as we do, Dire Straight’s “Money for Nothing” should have been trending.)

That was the immediate spin by the anti-Trump cabal to the president responding to state and local governments seeking a federal bailout in the billions of dollars to help offset losses brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

Speaking from the East Room of the White House during a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump said wasteful sanctuary city policies would have to be a factor in any negotiations, as would payroll tax cuts.

“I think there’s a big difference with a state that lost money because of COVID and a state that’s been run very badly for 25 years,” Trump said. “There’s a big difference, in my opinion. And you know, we’d have to talk about things like payroll tax cuts. We’d have to talk about things like sanctuary cities, as an example. I think sanctuary cities is something that has to be brought up where people who are criminals are protected, they are protected from prosecution.”

Trump said he was “open” to discussing a federal bailout, but cited fairness to other states to say it would “have to be COVID related, not related to mismanagement over a long period of time.”

At a Q&A session with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump said, “The problem with the states is we’re not looking to recover 25 years of bad management.”

“If it is COVID related, I guess we can talk about it,” he added. “But we’d want certain things also, including sanctuary city adjustments.”

 

“Which I don’t even think they are popular even by radical left folks, because what’s happening is people are being protected that shouldn’t be protected, and a lot of bad things are happening with sanctuary cities,” Trump added. “That’s one of the things I think about. If we are going to do something for states, I think they’ll want something having to do with sanctuary cities, something having to do with other different points that we can discuss a little later on.”

President Trump responded online to bailing out states after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested bankruptcy as an option — the suggestion coming as the national debt skyrockets to over $24 trillion.

He tweeted Monday: “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?”

Speaking of Illinois, the Land of Lincoln faces the very real prospect of becoming the first state in history to have its bonds rated as “junk,” as Moody’s MCO and Standard & Poor’s downgraded Illinois debt to just one notch above junk status last month.

The state is buried in unfunded pension debt and Forbes auditors discovered 110,000 public employees and retirees earning more than $100,000 last year.

As of August 2017, Illinois is an official sanctuary state.

And Trump said Tuesday that getting rid of sanctuary policies that protect illegal immigrants is necessary.

“I think that has to be done,” he said. “I think it’s one of the problems that the states have. I don’t even think they know they have a problem, but they have a big problem with the sanctuary situation.”

The massive $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Relief Fund passed by Congress and signed by the president allocated $150 billion for state and local governments, but the National Governors Association is requesting another $500 billion in the next relief measure, and cities and counties want $250 billion more.

Tom Tillison

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