April 23, 2020 Blog, Press Release

McConnell Receives Bipartisan Rebuke For Abandoning State and Local Governments

Mitch McConnell is getting criticized from all sides after he called a federal relief package directed toward state and local governments a “blue state bailout.”

State and local governments have been on the front lines of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with millions in unemployment payments, buying personal protective equipment for first responders and other unforeseen expenses.

But rather than support our first responders, educators and other public health employees, McConnell wants to force states to put them at risk by ending stay-at-home orders. That hyper-partisan attack drew a rebuke from all over:

  • New York Republican Congressman Peter King: “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. To say that it is “free money” to provide funds for cops, firefighters and healthcare workers makes McConnell the Marie Antoinette of the Senate.”
  • New Jersey Senator Cory Booker: “Let’s be clear what Mitch McConnell is saying to our firefighters, EMTs, police officers, teachers and other public servants: you’re expendable. This is shameful.”


  • Washington Post conservative opinion writer Jennifer Rubin: “McConnell’s position is not only hypocritical but unsound and politically dumb. State and local governments employ millions of people around the country…he wants states to be able to declare bankruptcy, which would mean pension plans, government contractors, union workers and a whole slew of other stakeholders would suffer.”
  • MSNBC Host Chris Hayes: “McConnell is fine bailing out companies that pay dividends and bonuses but he and the gang are gonna do everything they can to make sure that firefighters and teachers and state public health workers absolutely take it on the chin.”
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Look at the language of Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m not bailing out blue states, they should go bankrupt.’ Really? Really? How insecure is he in his own race in Kentucky to have to resort to that pathetic language?”
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy: “@senatemajldr ENCOURAGING states to GO BANKRUPT in a moment of crisis is wildly irresponsible. As usual, he’s dead wrong. We won’t go bankrupt, but we will leave the American people in the lurch at their most profound hour of need if the federal government doesn’t step up. Now.”

Marisa McNee, Kentucky Democratic Party spokesperson, said, “Picking a fight with public employees, first responders and teachers over pensions did not go well for Matt Bevin in 2019. It is becoming more clear every day that McConnell and his Team of D.C. Swamp Creatures don’t have any respect for hardworking Kentuckians.”