Thursday on MSNBC, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for saying states struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic should declare bankruptcy instead of getting a federal bailout.
Chuck Schumer said, “Mitch McConnell’s remarks are so far out of mainstream he’s going to have to walk them back. This is not an abstract concept. What he’s dealing with is the firing, the furloughing of police officers and firefighters, ambulance drivers and bus drivers, people who keep our food safe. These state workers and city workers are vital and the city —this is not something that came out of the blue that someone’s manufacturing for a blue state or a red state. These cities and states have huge COVID related expenses, and they’re not getting any revenues. No one’s paying any taxes. So there are two choices. The federal government meets its responsibility and helps them out like we’re helping small businesses like we’re helping hospitals and other groups, or there’s huge mayhem, and our economy will get much worse. I will say this, McConnell has become more and more isolated in his position — we shouldn’t help the states and localities, the police officers, firefighters, teachers and so many others. The Republican governors are all overwhelmed and need help. Most of the Republican senators have broken with McConnell today. So this is just an absurd position, and I would remind Senator McConnell, this is not blue states or red states, a police officer, a teacher, a firefighter, a bus driver in any state is a hard-working person who through no fault of their own could be furloughed unless the federal government acts.”
He added, “George W. Bush would have never said this. In fact, he came to New York and felt our pain. I was there when he stood on the pile and made that speech. Ronald Reagan never would have done this. It’s just so beyond imagination. It’s so mean-spirited to simply try to make this into a political argument when it’s people’s lives and livelihood and safety that is at stake. As I mentioned, state workers, city workers are not abstract concepts. They’re not just people sitting at a desk, some of them have to sit at desks, but they are also teachers in the classroom and firefighters on the fire trucks and food safety inspectors risking their lives to see that the food that’s produced is safe — so many others that are vital. To just give them the back of your hand and say go bankrupt, which is a huge pain to millions of families across America, it’s a position that is hard to imagine, that is mean spirited. Senator McConnell, as I said, he will have to walk this back. It is so far removed from the mainstream, so far removed from any party’s thinking.”
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