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Cuomo to McConnell: 'I dare you' to pass a bill letting states declare bankruptcy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously called Mitch McConnell’s idea of states declaring bankruptcy ‘vicious.’

By Oliver Willis - April 24, 2020
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while expressing his opposition to financial aid for states suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, suggested that states “use the bankruptcy route.”

On Thursday New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D) called the proposal “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.” On Friday, he again commented on the Republican idea.

From an April 24 press conference:

ANDREW CUOMO: Some people have suggested, “Well, states should declare bankruptcy.” I think, as I said yesterday, it’s a really dumb idea.


People are trying to talk about bringing the economy back, reopen, we have to get the economy moving again, and then rather than provide financial aid to the states that got hit by this economic tsunami through no fault of their own, suggestion was made, states should declare bankruptcy.


Little — few problems with that premise. Forget the morality of it, and the ethics of it, and the absurdity of it, and the meanness of it.


Legally, a state can’t declare bankruptcy. You would need a federal law allowing states to declare bankruptcy. So, to the Senate that proposed it, I say: Pass a law allowing states to declare bankruptcy, I dare you. And let the president sign that bill that says I give the states the legal ability to declare bankruptcy.


It’s your suggestion, Senator McConnell? Pass the law, I dare you. And then go to the president and say, “Sign this bill allowing states to declare bankruptcy.”


You want to send a signal to the markets that this nation is in real trouble? You want to send an international message that the economy is in turmoil? Do that.


Allow states to declare bankruptcy legally because you passed the bill. It’ll be the first time in our nation’s history that that happened.


I dare you to do that, and then we’ll see how many states actually take you up on it. I know I wouldn’t.


But if you believe what you said, and you have the courage of conviction, because you’re a man of your word, pass that bill. If you weren’t just playing politics.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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