coronavirus International

NJ Gov. Murphy castigates Sen. McConnell for asking states to go bankrupt

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday launched into a fiery takedown of US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying state and local governments with cratered finances because of the coronavirus pandemic should be allowed to file for bankruptcy rather than rely on federal aid.

“My breath is taken away,” Murphy, a Democrat, said of the Kentucky Republican during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Trenton.

“Really? This is the time, in a moment of crisis unlike any our country has faced in at least 100 years, to suggest it’s a good thing for states to go bankrupt?” the governor asked.

“Come on, man,” Murphy said. “That is completely and utterly irresponsible. There’s no level of responsibility associated with that. And I don’t care what party you’re in.”

Murphy added that, “as usual,” McConnell is “dead wrong.”

“Because that won’t happen,” the governor said. “We won’t go bankrupt. You have my word we won’t go bankrupt.”

But without federal aid, Murphy said, states will be forced to lay off public workers and “gut the living daylights” out of “the exact services that our citizens need right now.”

“We will just cut, cut, cut, and cut,” he continued. “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 on the beach, alone, helpless. That is what will happen in New Jersey. … And that will happen in Kentucky. You have my word.

“So watch your words, sir,” Murphy said. “This is the time to stand up on a bipartisan basis and be there for the states in America, not just for the states’ sake, but for the American people. Please, God.”

McConnell, the highest-ranking member of the Senate, made the comments during an interview Wednesday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

He was discussing how Democrats — like Murphy — are calling for Congress to provide direct aid for states and cities as their revenues plummet in the wake of stay-at-home orders, business closings, and record unemployment during the pandemic. (Source:

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