Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shocked the nation when he declared earlier this week that he would rather allow states to go bankrupt than spend any federal funding bailing them out, and it now appears that he’s even provoked anger from within his own party.
Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan told POLITICO that McConnell “probably regrets saying that…If he doesn’t regret it yet, I think he will regret it. The last thing we need in the middle of an economic crisis is to have states filing bankruptcy all across America and not able to provide services to people who desperately need them. I’m hopeful that we’re going to be able to … convince Sen. McConnell that maybe he shouldn’t let all the states go bankrupt.”
He was joined by Republican Rep. Pete King of New York, who labeled McConnell the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate” and unloaded on the Republican leader in anger: “McConnell’s dismissive remark that States devastated by Coronavirus should go bankrupt rather than get the federal assistance they need and deserve is shameful and indefensible.”
The coronavirus crisis is projected to blow a half-trillion-dollar hole in the budgets of America’s 50 states. If the states are not bailed out, the shortfall is likely to trigger crushing austerity, massive job losses, and an abrupt end to critical public services that could push our economy into years of recession or even a great depression to rival the 1929 crash.
But rather than spend the public’s money to protect the jobs and pensions of the first responders that politicians love to tearfully canonize as Real American Heroes (TM), McConnell announced yesterday that he would rather see the states go bankrupt.
McConnell tells Hugh Hewitt he prefers states be allowed to declare bankruptcy over sending them direct federal aid. pic.twitter.com/cvj8Hfj7Tb
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) April 22, 2020
It’s reassuring to see there are at least some members of the Republican Party who haven’t entirely sacrificed their common sense to the dark god of plutocratic austerity and are willing to speak out against their maniacal leader.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.