New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tore into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for suggesting that states should file for bankruptcy instead of receiving coronavirus relief from the federal government, calling it “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”

Why it matters: New York and other states have faced massive revenue shortfalls as a result of coronavirus restrictions. Cuomo said Wednesday that President Trump has agreed to push for funding for state and local governments in the next stimulus bill, but the idea has faced resistance from McConnell.

Driving the news: McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday he didn't want to "just send a blank check down to states and local governments to spend anyway they choose to." He instead suggested allowing them to file for bankruptcy.

"Yeah, 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 to Hugh Hewitt

What he's saying: At a press briefing Thursday, Cuomo responded to McConnell by saying his idea would lead to a "collapse of this national economy."

  • "This is one of the really dumb ideas of all time. I said to my colleagues in Washington, I would have insisted that state and local funding was in this current bill, because I don't believe they want to fund state and local governments."

Cuomo also criticized language in press releases from McConnell's office that described funding for states as "blue state bailouts," calling it "vicious."

  • "How ugly a thought? I mean just think of what he's saying. People died. 15,000 people died in New York."

Go deeper

Meadows: White House and Democrats are "nowhere close to a deal" on stimulus

Mnuchin and Meadows. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that the two sides are "nowhere close to a deal" on a coronavirus stimulus bill, acknowledging that extra unemployment benefits will expire on Friday.

Why it matters: More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to the most recent Labor Department data. Democrats had hoped to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but the Senate GOP remains extremely divided.

Trump: Republicans who oppose funding FBI building in stimulus "should go back to school"

President Trump said Wednesday that Senate Republicans who oppose using the next coronavirus stimulus package to fund a new $1.75 billion headquarters for the FBI "should go back to school."

Why it matters: It's yet another public spat between the White House and congressional Republicans over the substance of their stimulus proposal. Trump's insistence on the issue, despite little support from his colleagues in the Senate, could drive another wedge into already protracted negotiations.

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.