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This week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said state and local governments should “use the bankruptcy route” instead of looking to the federal government for aid, and on Friday, the “politically vulnerable” Thom Tillis finally admitted he agreed, even though, “nearly all governments in the country are facing some level of fiscal hardship because of the COVID-19 outbreak—including those in Tillis’ home state.”
Tillis told a constituent he was “aligned with Leader McConell on the issue.”
In response, Cal Cunningham said “Communities around North Carolina are hurting, and we deserve a Senator who will fight for the resources they need.”
Communities across the state are taking a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Wake County said it could cut more than $30 million in local government services, and Charlotte projected a nearly $14 million budget shortfall.
Read more below about the latest example of Tillis siding with his own party even when it is wrong for North Carolina.
By Sam Brodey – April 24, 2020
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) moved to draw the line on sending further coronavirus aid for hard-hit state and local governments on Wednesday, it caused a backlash among Democrats and even some Republicans.
But on Friday, one of the most politically vulnerable members of McConnell’s Senate GOP backed the leader. In a tele-town hall with constituents Friday morning, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) was asked by a constituent if the Senate would be voting to “bail out poorly-run states that were near-bankrupt” before COVID-19 hit.
“Personally, I don’t think we should, and I don’t think that we can,” responded Tillis. “I’m not so sure taxpayer dollars from North Carolina should go to a state, a county, or a city that, like you said, was in poor economic shape before we even had the virus.”
“I’m more or less aligned with Leader McConnell on the issue,” said Tillis.
Tillis’ alignment with McConnell in this debate comes as the first-term GOP senator gears up for a stiff challenge from Democrat Cal Cunningham, a race that could be the most expensive and hard-fought Senate contest this November. In March, a super PAC aligned with McConnell set aside more money for TV ads to defend Tillis—$21.8 million—than any other battleground senator.
Though McConnell, Tillis, and other Republicans say they don’t want to reward poorly-managed jurisdictions with federal aid, nearly all governments in the country are facing some level of fiscal hardship because of the COVID-19 outbreak—including those in Tillis’ home state.
Read more here.