WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate approved almost 500 billion dollars in funding for small businesses, hospitals, and covid-19 testing, but Democrats had also pushed to help state and local governments. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he thinks the federal government shouldn’t bail out local governments. He said Republicans aren’t interested in replacing their revenue or "solving their pension problems."
Instead, Senator McConnell said he’s open to the idea of allowing states to declare bankruptcy. In a radio interview Wednesday, he said it would save some cities. He claims state and local governments are in their positions right now because of decisions they made in the past.
Democratic leaders were shocked at his words.
"He said if a lot of them are in trouble, maybe they should just think about filing for bankruptcy. Marie Antoinette said 'let them eat cake' and Mitch McConnell said 'maybe let them file for bankruptcy,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.
“Really? This is the time, in a moment of crisis unlike any our country has faced in at least 100 years, to suggest it's a good thing for states to go bankrupt? I would say two things in reaction, Senator,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Number one: C'mon, man. That is completely and utterly irresponsible. There's no level of responsibility associated with that, and I don't care what party you're in."
McConnell has encouraged state governors to take steps to reopen up the economy, including allowing hospitals to resume doing elective surgeries.