by Brett Rowland
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that bankruptcy is not an option for Michigan in response to comments last week from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Whitmer appeared on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. Stephanopoulos asked her if default was on the table for Michigan.
“No, and it’s outrageous for Senator McConnell to even suggest that,” Whitmer said. “But that’s what the matter is. Our general fund budget when adjusted for the inflation is the same size it was during – when Richard Nixon was our president. We have been incredibly smart stewards and we have not made some of the investments I think we should have as a state because of this artificially low number that we’ve been working with.”
The governor’s comments came after McConnell said he would favor allowing states struggling with pension debt to declare bankruptcy rather than bailing them out. McConnell said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show earlier this week that Republicans had little appetite for covering the costs of state pension debt.
“There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations,” McConnell said.
Michigan is projected to face a $3 billion budget shortfall. Whitmer said the federal government needs to help states.
“But the fact of the matter is that for Senator McConnell to suggest that is incredibly dangerous and I don’t think that the vast majority of governors in this country, Republican and Democratic, would agree with him,” Whitmer said. “He’s wrong and we need Congress to step up and help states. Because this pandemic – it’s because of this global pandemic that we are all having to make tough decisions. We need the federal government to have our backs.”
Watch the full segment:
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Brett Rowland is a contributor to The Center Square.