Mitch McConnell went on conservative Hugh Hewitt's radio show Wednesday and suggested it would be better if states slammed by the coronavirus filed for bankruptcy rather than get more federal assistance. "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," said McConnell, per the Washington Post. "That's not something I'm going to be in favor of." McConnell said lawmakers should "push the pause button" on “this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments," and Politico reports that he later doubled down in a Fox News interview. "We're not interested in solving their pension problems for them," he said of states. "We're not interested in rescuing them from bad decisions they've made in the past, (and) we're not going to let them take advantage of this pandemic."
McConnell's office put out a document summing all this up under the title "Stopping Blue State Bailouts," and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in particular has been firing back. "This is one of the really dumb ideas of all time," Cuomo said Thursday of what he called McConnell's "incredibly short-sighted" bankruptcy idea, per Business Insider. He took particular exception to the "blue state" reference. "How ugly a thought," Cuomo said. "Just think of what he's saying. People died. 15,000 people died in New York, but they were predominately Democrats, so why should we help them?" Republican New York Rep. Peter King also lashed out, calling McConnell's remarks "shameful," reports USA Today. "To say that it is 'free money' to provide funds for cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate," he wrote. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)