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

Tom Williams/ZUMA

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate