An Open Letter to Congress as You Respond to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic:

CALL TO ACTION

THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE THEIR LIFE SIMPLE

to pay for their past mistakes in the name of helping those who have been hit hardest.

Prior to the pandemic, many states had chronic structural fiscal problems not related to COVID-19. States that have spent lavishly, borrowed excessively and ignored looming pension debt should not use the current crisis to shift the cost of those bad policy decisions onto taxpayers in other states.

Illinois and New York are just two examples I will use to make this point.

Illinois has requested more than $41 billion in additional funding from the federal government on top of the $4.9 billion already provided by the CARES Act. Most of this would go to purposes not related to direct COVID-19 response, such as bailing out the state’s failing pension system.

The state of New York has mismanaged its budget for years. How do we know this? Because it has a population smaller than that of Florida, yet it’s budget is double the size of Florida’s.

All of this is to say: Taxpayers should not be on the hook for politicians’ inability to make responsible decisions in another state prior to the COVID crisis.

Specifically, I urge you to ...

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NOT bail out the states. Taxpayers shouldn't be required to fund states that haven't managed their budgets properly.

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Tell the state governors and local communities to STOP exploiting their firefighters, teachers and other state workers to justify these bailouts.

Tell the states to use the funds already provided to them by the federal government more wisely—specifically by prioritizing support for first responders and others who need it most within their states.

Not create any more funding bills that bailout states, fund special interest groups, focused on party political priorities, or are otherwise not directly related to responding to this pandemic.

Our system of government reserves certain authority and accountability to each of the states. Bailouts are a clear example of the federal government overstepping its authority. It is incumbent on states to govern wisely and independently, both reaping the rewards of smart policy, and addressing the consequences of bad.

Washington is already providing at least $1.8 trillion in assistance to state governments this year alone, including funds previously allocated and support specifically related to COVID-19.

There must be a limit and the federal government must not remove incentives for states to balance costs and benefits.

Congress has already provided hundreds of billions in relief funding and loans to individuals and businesses experiencing economic hardship as a result of pandemic response policy, and again when it boosted funding for first responders and health care providers—including true heroes on the frontlines.

But massive federal bailouts too often go to line the pockets of special interests, rather than to those in need. Indeed, we are already learning of instances of waste, fraud, and abuse with the most recent federal spending bills.

This has to stop.

Policymaking by crisis is the wrong way to approach addressing the challenges in the states. Another massive federal spending bill will almost certainly guarantee that federal funds will be used for non-COVID-related state expenses at a time when we can least afford it.

Federal debt has already climbed above $24.5 trillion, including more than $1 trillion in debt taken on in just the last month. Not only is this spending unsustainable and a threat to the future prosperity of our country, but it makes it very difficult to respond to whatever might come next—whether with COVID-19 or another crisis.

Another rushed and sweeping bailout bill isn’t the answer.

Sincerely,

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer,

I write regarding proposals for Congress and the federal government to provide hundreds of billions in funds to states and localities to backstop their spending during the time of coronavirus. We encourage you to reject these requests.

You should be helping the people who are hurting, not bailing out politicians for irresponsible decisions they made prior to this crisis. But as I’ve seen before, lawmakers are using this crisis to jockey for handouts

An Open Letter to Congress:
DO NOT BAILOUT THE STATES!

Supported by:

Brent Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity


CC: All members of Congress.

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer,

I write regarding proposals for Congress and the federal government to provide hundreds of billions in funds to states and localities to backstop their spending during the time of coronavirus. We encourage you to reject these requests.

You should be helping the people who are hurting, not bailing out politicians for irresponsible decisions they made prior to this crisis. But as I’ve seen before, lawmakers are using this crisis to jockey for handouts to pay for their past mistakes in the name of helping those who have been hit hardest.

Prior to the pandemic, many states had chronic structural fiscal problems not related to COVID-19. States that have spent lavishly, borrowed excessively, and ignored looming pension debt should not use the current crisis to shift the cost of those bad policy decisions onto taxpayers in other states. 

Illinois and New York are just two examples I will use to make this point.

Illinois has requested more than $41 billion in additional funding from the federal government on top of the $4.9 billion already provided by the CARES Act. Most of this would go to purposes not related to direct COVID-19 response, such as bailing out the state’s failing pension system.

The state of New York has mismanaged their budget for years. How do we know this? Because it has a population smaller than that of Florida, yet it’s budget is double the size of Florida’s.

All of this is to say: Taxpayers should not be on the hook for politicians’ inability to make responsible decisions in another state prior to the COVID crisis.

Specifically, I urge you to ...