Apr 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Whitmer: It's "outrageous" for McConnell to suggest states declare bankruptcy

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that it is not an option for her state to declare bankruptcy as a result of the coronavirus crisis, shooting down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) suggestion that states could do so as "incredibly dangerous."

The big picture: As Democrats and Republicans prepare to begin negotiations over the phase 4 coronavirus relief bill, McConnell said last week that Congress should hit the "pause" button over providing funding to state governments. His office then referred to the idea as a "blue state bailout" in press releases.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tore into McConnell for his comments on Thursday, calling the bankruptcy suggestion “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), meanwhile, said on ABC's "This Week" that he had received assurances from the president and vice president about states receiving funding and that there was already bipartisan legislation in the Senate.

What she's saying: "The fact of the matter is that for Sen. McConnell to suggest that is incredibly dangerous and I don't think that the vast majority of governors in this country, Republican and Democratic, would agree with him," Whitmer said.

  • "He's wrong, and we need Congress to step up and help states. It's because of this global pandemic that we are all having to make tough decisions. We need the federal government to have our backs," she added.

Go deeper: Hogan dismisses McConnell's "blue state bailout" claim as "complete nonsense"

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