WASHINGTON — Republicans said they didn’t want federal aid for states, falsely parroting a talking point that only “blue states” would benefit. Now, as red states are facing looming budget deficits, Republicans have refused to reverse course on their refusal of federal aid. Rejecting federal aid means essential workers, teachers, police officers and others on the frontlines fighting the virus will be starved for funding.
“Republican lawmakers have downplayed the severity of the virus and instead of fighting for federal recovery funds, they’re saying ‘no thanks,’” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “The GOP should be fighting tooth and nail for funds for their communities; instead, they’re giving national Republicans cover.”
Across the country, Republicans lawmakers made their opposition to relief aid clear:
- Many lawmakers from Texas, Florida, and Arizona, and Georgia signed onto a letter from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that publicly said they would refuse any aid that was sent to their states. The letter justified not accepting federal aid because it “reward[s] states that have made poor financial decisions at the expense of those that have been fiscally responsible.”
- Michigan Representative Ryan Berman wrote an op-ed to explain why he cosponsored a resolution opposing federal relief, saying that he was “concerned that federal bailout funds are going to be used to support states that have grossly mismanaged their budgets.”
- Iowa Representative Bobby Kaufmann mocked legislators from other states for facing budget shortfalls — saying states are struggling with shortfalls because of their “poor, liberal mismanagement, not the product of COVID!”