Want to see New York’s governor get upset? Suggest that state and local governments pursue bankruptcy during an economic shutdown instead of seeking more federal assistance.
The New York Times reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell made that recommendation on Wednesday in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated,” the Kentucky lawmaker said. “There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”
Afterward, the Senate Majority Leader’s staff released a statement with his comments under the heading “On Stopping Blue State Bailouts.” His suggestion and subsequent news release didn’t sit well with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who insisted the idea was “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
“If there was ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness and partisanship…If there is ever a time for humanity and decency, now is the time,” Cuomo said in response to McConnell’s bankruptcy idea during a Thursday coronavirus briefing. “How irresponsible and how reckless.”
Cuomo took issue with the insinuation that blue states like New York were asking for a handout while states like Kentucky were sufficient enough to weather the coronavirus-spurred storm. “New York state puts much more money into the federal pot than it takes out,” Cuomo argued. “At the end of the year, we put into that federal pot $116 billion more than we take out. Okay? His state, the state of Kentucky, takes out $148 billion more than they put in. Okay?”
Cuomo concluded his diatribe saying, “Senator McConnell, who’s getting bailed out here? It’s your state that is living on the money that we generate. Your state is getting bailed out. Not my state.”
The leader of the country’s outbreak epicenter shared that he was particularly disappointed that McConnell would make the coronavirus discussion a Red State vs Blue State matter while the education system, fire departments, police departments and other state-funded structures were on the line.
“That’s not who we are,” Cuomo asserted. “Stop your political obsessive political bias and anger.”