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Conservative Leaders To GOP: No State and Local Government Bailouts in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Democratic Leaders CoronavirusThe conservative leaders of the Conservative Action Project, led by Chairman Alfred S. Regnery and including CHQ Managing Editor George Rasley and American Target Advertising President of Corporate Affairs attorney Mark J. Fitzgibbons, on Friday released a statement of opposition to proposals to include state and local government bailouts in any future COVID-19 relief bills.

The statement was prompted in large measure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding as much as $1 trillion more in federal money to bail out state budgets. The blue states of California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York are lining up to be first at the trough.

As our friend Stephen Moore observed in a recent column, Republicans in Congress would be bonkers to let Pelosi take money from their states to subsidize the flabby and inefficient government services in blue-state America. The blue-state bailout is also the most regressive idea in modern times because it would tax residents in low-income states to pay for government services in high-income states. New York, California and Massachusetts are among the wealthiest states in terms of per capita income. How preposterous would it be for the residents of Arkansas or Mississippi to bail out Manhattan or Cambridge or Silicon Valley? Who would have thought that Pelosi would be such a fierce advocate for reallocating money from the poor to the rich?

The full text of the CAP statement follows:

May 8, 2020

Washington, DC

As Congress considers additional relief efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis, conservatives are firmly opposed to the inclusion of federally funded bailouts for states and local governments.

Federal aid has been primarily targeted toward individuals, businesses, and hospitals struggling due to the public health mitigation efforts designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. States have also received aid in the form of Medicaid coverage for tests and vaccines, unemployment insurance, and more than $200 billion in direct support for unforeseen expenses.

Unrestricted funding on top of this raises significant concerns based on how states have handled such infusions of federal money in the past. Rather than going to address critical areas of need related to previous crises, states have used those funds to expand existing programs beyond sustainable levels and then to underfund them, in hopes of more federal support. Areas of actual need fail to be addressed as a result.

This is particularly true when it comes to states with already underfunded pension and health care benefit shortfalls. The federal share of state budgets has already increased to 32 percent; an additional infusion of unrestricted money will open the door to even more demand for future bailouts.

Moreover, not all states are identical. Some states have responsibly managed their finances in preparation for a crisis. Others have not. A federally funded state bailout would reward the reckless states while punishing the prudent ones.

Finally, bailouts of this nature threaten the fundamentally American principle of federalism, which allows states to decide for themselves how they will manage in a crisis. This requires the forward thinking and preparation that a government bailout would only disincentivize, while at the same time putting American taxpayers on the hook for poor decision making. This expansion of federal welfare to states will not serve the interests of a country that relies upon diverse and robust state economies.

As Congress contemplates a future relief package, we urge them to reject state and local government cash bailouts in favor of policies which give states the flexibility to address the crisis according to the needs of their state – including providing relief from onerous regulations, unfunded federal mandates, and policies which stifle economic growth.

(All organizations listed for IDENTIFICATION purposes only)

Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Chairman, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

Tom McClusky
March for Life Action

Jessica Anderson
Executive Director
Heritage Action for America

Mary Vought
Executive Director
Senate Conservatives Fund

Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Foley & Lardner LLP

The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
White House Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)

The Honorable David McIntosh
Club for Growth

Scott T. Parkinson
VP for Government Affairs
Club for Growth

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Constitutional Congress, Inc.

Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.
Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.
President and CEO, First Liberty Institute

L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund

Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer
American Legislative Exchange Council

Ginni Thomas
Liberty Consulting, Inc.

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)

The Honorable Jim DeMint
Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute
Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)

Ed Corrigan
Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project &
President, Conservative Partnership Institute

he Honorable Donald Paul Hodel
U.S. Secretary of Energy (1982-1985)
U.S. Secretary of Interior (1985-1989)

The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio

William L. Walton
Council for National Policy

The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.

Noah Wall
Vice President of Advocacy

The Honorable Tony Perkins
Family Research Council

The Honorable Matt Schlapp
American Conservative Union (ACU)

The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell
The Leadership Institute

David Bozell

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret.)
Executive Vice President
Family Research Council

Myron Ebell
Director, Center for Energy and Environment,
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

Anne Schlafly Cori
Eagle Forum

The Honorable James C. Miller III
Budget Director for President Reagan (1985-1989)

Charlie Copeland
Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Ron Robinson
Young America's Foundation

The Honorable Scott Walker
Young America's Foundation

Eunie Smith
Eagle Forum

Lewis K. Uhler
National Tax Limitation Committee

Jim Backlin
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America

Norm Singleton
Campaign for Liberty

Richard H. Wright

Matthew Tyrmand
Matthew Tyrmand LLC

Ron Pearson
Executive Director
Conservative Victory Fund

Khadine Ritter
Eagle Forum of Ohio

Charlie Gerow
Vice Chairman
American Conservative Union

Sal Russo
Co-Founder and Chief Strategist
Tea Party Express

Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO

Tom DeWeese
American Policy Center

The Honorable George K. Rasley Jr.
Managing Editor

Terrence Scanlon
Retired Chairman and President
Capital Research Center 1994-2016

Marlin Sharp
Field Director
STAND Foundation, Inc.

Melissa Kaye Ortiz

Kevin Freeman
NSIC Institute

Sheryl Kaufman
Corporate Chief Economist, Retired
Phillips Petroleum Company

Karen England
Executive Director, Nevada Family Alliance &
Capitol Resource Institute

Jeremy Cerone
EliteSafe Inc.

Grace-Marie Turner
Galen Institute

Kielle C. Horton
The Lindsey Foundation

Marc Little
Center for Urban Renewal and Education

C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Seton Motley
Less Government

Martha Boneta
Vote America First

Eric Georgatos
Executive Producer
America Can We Talk?

Andresen Blom
Hawaiian Values

Lee Beaman
Beaman Automotive Group

The Honorable Penny Pullen
Former Assistant GOP Leader
Illinois House of Representatives

Bobbie Patray
Tennessee Eagle Forum

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

Kay R. Daly
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Tim LeFever
Capitol Resource Institute

Gary Marx
The Concord Fund

Richard Manning
Americans for Limited Government

Penna Dexter
Point of View Radio

Joseph A. Morris
Partner, Morris & De La Rosa
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Reagan/Meese)

Cindi Castilla
Texas Eagle Forum

William Haygood Shaker
Washington Marketing Group

The Honorable Somers H. White
Former Arizona State Senator

Joan Holt Lindsey
Lindsey Communications

Robert D. Thompson
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch (1999-2016)

The Honorable Mike Hill
Florida State House

Jay Mount
MDS Communications

James L. Martin
60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
60 Plus Association

Trent England
Executive Director
Save Our States

Donna Hearne
Constitutional Coalition

Richard Norman
Founder and President
The Richard Norman Company

Richard D. Hayes
Hayes Berry White & Vanzant LLP

Judson Phillips
Tea Party Nation

Willes Lee
President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Susan A. Carleson
Carleson Center for Welfare Reform

The Honorable Peter Thomas
The Conservative Caucus

Caroline Lewis
Percipio Communications

Lori Roman
American Constitutional Rights Union

Dr. Richard Rounsavelle
Media Research Center
William W. Pascoe, III
Board Member
Tea Party Patriots Action
Elaine Donnelly
Center for Military Readiness
Rob Gluskin
Managing Partner
Gluskin Investment Partners
Barry Meguiar
Ignite America
Chad Connelly
Faith Wins
Amapola Hansberger
Legal Immigrants for America
Kathleen Patten
President & CEO
American Target Advertising
E.C. Sykes
General Partner
Aslan Ventures
Eaton Hopkins
Liberty Surgical, Inc.
Cindy Honcoop
State Director
Washington Eagle Forum

Randy M. Long
Long Business Advisors, LLC
Frank J. Gaffney
Executive Chairman
Center for Security Policy
Jeff Hunt
Centennial Institute
William Mills
MPW Properties
Dr. Richard Lee
There’s Hope America
Doug Badger
Senior Fellow
Galen Institute
Tim Macy
Gun Owners of America
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
American Values
Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising
Ed Martin
Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

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