Not everyone in the Republican Party agrees with McConnell's desire for their states to go bankrupt

Not everyone in the Republican Party agrees with McConnell's desire for their states to go bankrupt
Gage Skidmore
News & Politics

It's worth noting that while House and Senate Democrats and their presidential candidate, Joe Biden, are all in agreement about the need for and elements of the next big coronavirus crisis response bill, Republicans are most definitely not. Particularly when it comes to help for their states.

Republican governors blasted Sen. Mitch McConnell over his assertion that the states should just go bankrupt rather than getting federal aid. Some of McConnell's senators don't like that idea any better, or care for his assertion that Congress has done enough for now and should wait and see how bad it gets before committing to more.

"My initial thought honestly was, I didn't agree with that approach," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, told The Washington Post. She said there could be a "devastating impact" if states and local governments had to lay off large number of public workers. "If you've ever seen a building fall down, when they've imploded, it begins to come up and then all of a sudden, it just drifts down really quickly," Capito said. "I don't know where we are in that phase, but I still think we have parts of the building that are still going to be falling, and so because of that, I don’t think it's the time to pull back."

Another Republican, Louisiana's Bill Cassidy, supports a Democratic bill for a $500 billion infusion of funds to state and local governments. A Cassidy spokesman told the the Post that McConnell's statement "did not change the senator from Louisiana's view that state and local governments need this money." Ohio's Rob Portman, another deficit hawk, has pushed for funding for municipalities, too.

And far-right Missouri Republican Josh Hawley is going even further, calling for the federal government to pick up payrolls for companies so that they don't have to lay people off. It's subsistence wages that he's proposing—80% of U.S. employees' wages up to the national median wage—but it's practically socialism by Republican standards. "If we find ourselves in a long-term depression, you know, you talk about out-of-control spending, that will happen," Hawley said. "So my point is right now, we have an acute crisis. Let's address that crisis as quickly as we can and try to get out of it as quickly as we can and to me that's all about jobs."

He could have his chance to vote on that should the House put it in the next big bill. Then we'll all see just how much control McConnell has over his conference. Which is also a good reason for Pelosi to go very, very big on that bill. Saving the country is critical. That means pressuring McConnell to his limit, and possibly to the end of his career.

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