NEW JERSEY – In today’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus crisis, Governor Phil Murphy made it clear. He doesn’t care if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a Democrat or Republican. The New Jersey governor said his breath was taken away when he read that McConnell said: “it wouldn’t necessarily a bad idea for states to go bankrupt.”
“It’s actually worked out pretty well for some cities over time, “said Murphy, paraphrasing the legislator from Kentucky.
“This is the time in a moment of crisis unlike any our country has faced in at least a hundred years, to suggest our states go bankrupt?” Murphy questioned. “Encouraging, engendering, explicitly almost hoping for bankruptcies of American states in the midst of the biggest healthcare crisis this country has ever faced is completely and utterly irresponsible.”
Murphy pledged that New Jersey would not go bankrupt. However, he predicted that without federal assistance, all states would be “gutted of the services” – particularly those citizens need right now.
“We will just cut, cut, and cut,” said Murphy, directing his comments to McConnell. “We won’t go bankrupt, Senator. But we will leave our citizens in the lurch at their most profound hour of need. We will leave people alone on the beach, helpless.”
In expressing his outrage, Murphy warned McConnell that the situation would not be unique to New Jersey. “It will happen in Kentucky,” Murphy declared. “You have my word.”
Murphy said he was encouraged by a tweet from President Donald Trump stating that now was the “time to stand up on a bipartisan basis to be there for the states and the American people.”
One of the issues with the lack of funding would mean layoffs at the state level. “This could double unemployment numbers,” said Murphy. “The reason the numbers aren’t double now is that we need state and municipal workers – we need government more than we ever did before.”
According to the governor, he and the other states would need a package of five hundred billion dollars from the feds to keep services in place. Murphy expressed concerns about helping people that are unemployed or “small businesses that have gone bust.” The state also needs the ability to help those who are sick – or - “God forbid, dying.”