Peter King: 'McConnell doesn't know what he's talking about' opposing federal COVID aid for states
"The fact is New York has been bailing out Kentucky for years with the extra tax revenues from us that Kentucky has gotten," the New York Republican says
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New York Republican Rep. Peter King told Just the News on Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "doesn't know what he's talking about" when it comes to his opposition to additional federal stimulus funding for states and local governments during the pandemic.
King, the only Republican to vote in favor of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act in May, said he won't back the new version of the bill, calling it a "political ploy by the Democrats." The White House and congressional leaders have not reached a stimulus agreement.
"If it's just a reply of the HEROES, no," he said during an interview on Capitol Hill. "If it hasn't been signed off by the White House I say no – not that I'm bound by the White House but if it's not they know it's going nowhere. To me, it's just insulting everyone's intelligence."
King said he voted for the first version to "send a signal" that there had to be stimulus money going to state and local governments.
King was asked about McConnell's opposition to the $1 trillion in state and local aid that was part of the original HEROES Act. That aid has been lowered to $436 billion in the current version.
"Unfortunately McConnell doesn't know what he's talking about since this whole thing started. The fact is New York has been bailing out Kentucky for years with the extra tax revenues from us that Kentucky has gotten," he said.
"All we're asking for would be money directly related to COVID. It has nothing to do with bailing anybody out. This is directly related to COVID – both the lost revenues and extra expenses. And to me, that has nothing to do with pension funds or any other stuff these guys yell about," he also said.
McConnell has referred to the state and local aid as something Democratic leaders have sought in the past.
"Clearly this isn’t really about COVID. Democrats think they smell an opening they have wanted for years – to make Uncle Sam bail out decades of mismanagement and broken policies in places like New York, New Jersey, and California," he said.
"And so they've decided that no working family anywhere in America can get another cent, not one cent, unless they get to create a trillion-dollar slush fund for mismanaged states, completely out of proportion to pandemic needs," he added.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the new bill, HEROES 2.0, would likely pass on Wednesday evening. The vote was ultimately delayed.
"No one has seen the bill we're voting on it if we do vote on it today," King said on Wednesday ahead of the expected vote.
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