“Marie Antoinette of the Senate”: McConnell Draws Rare GOP Condemnation for Suggesting States Go Bankrupt

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) laid into Senate Majority Mitch McConnell after the top Senate Republican suggested cash-strapped states struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic should consider declaring bankruptcy rather than rely on the federal government for additional emergency funding.

Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, McConnell also criticized governors, “regardless of party,” seeking “free money” during this time.

“To say that is ‘free money’ to provide funds for cops, firefighters, and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate,” King said on Twitter.

The scathing condemnation by a House Republican comes as Democrats fight for more federal aid to be included for states in the latest coronavirus relief bill, as state budgets around the country project a staggering $500 billion loss in tax revenues from the pandemic. But McConnell this week made clear his aversion to including such measures.

“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,” McConnell told Hewitt. “That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

Soon after the radio appearance, his office later published a news release under the headline “Stopping Blue State Bailouts,” all but confirming the deeply partisan lens through which McConnell views general state relief amid a public health crisis.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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