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Rep. Albio Sires. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Sires batters McConnell over opposition to ‘blue state bailout’

By Nikita Biryukov, April 23 2020 1:21 pm

Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) added his name to the list of New Jersey Democrats battering Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the Republican’s suggestion that states go bankrupt to deal with financial strain caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

“The statements by Senate Majority Leader McConnell are completely inappropriate and an insult to the people who are working hard every day to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Sires said. “It is unfathomable that as millions of Americans are losing their jobs and turning to their states for unemployment assistance, Mitch McConnell would look at ways to pass off his responsibility to the American people rather than help them.”

On Wednesday, McConnell said would oppose a “blue state bailout,” instead suggesting that he might move to allow states to declare bankruptcy.

Blue states like New York and New Jersey have been hit harder by the virus than rural red states like the one McConnell represents.

They also get pennies for every dollar they pay in federal taxes.

New Jersey receives only 79 cents for each dollar its residents pay in federal taxes, the lowest return rate of every state in the nation, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in January.

Kentucky gets almost $2 for every dollar its residents send to the federal government.

“Calling direct aid to states and localities a ‘blue state bailout’ shows that he does not understand that this virus does not respect state lines and the economic impact of this pandemic will be felt by people in Kentucky as well as New Jersey,” Sires said. “It seems that McConnell has forgotten that many of those ‘blue states’ he thinks should turn to bankruptcy are the ones sending more money to the federal government than they get back.”

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