No State & Local Government Bailouts in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

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.


Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Chairman, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
Tom McClusky
President
March for Life Action
Jessica Anderson
Executive Director
Heritage Action for America
Mary Vought
Executive Director
Senate Conservatives Fund
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
White House Advisor
President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)
The Honorable David McIntosh
President
Club for Growth
Scott T. Parkinson
VP for Government Affairs
Club for Growth
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
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
Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund
Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer
American Legislative Exchange Council
Ginni Thomas
President
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
The 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
President
Council for National Policy
Christopher Malagisi
Executive Director of Outreach
Hillsdale College
The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
Noah Wall
Vice President of Advocacy
FreedomWorks
The Honorable Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council
The Honorable Matt Schlapp
Chairman
American Conservative Union (ACU)
The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell
President
The Leadership Institute
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
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
Chairman
Eagle Forum
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Budget Director for President Reagan (1985-1989)
Charlie Copeland
President
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation
The Honorable Scott Walker
President-Elect
Young America’s Foundation
Eunie Smith
President
Eagle Forum
Lewis K. Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee
Jim Backlin
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America
Norm Singleton
President
Campaign for Liberty
Richard H. Wright
Owner
R & S LLC
Matthew Tyrmand
Principle
Matthew Tyrmand LLC
Ron Pearson
Executive Director
Conservative Victory Fund
Khadine Ritter
President
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
CorsiNation.com
Tom DeWeese
President
American Policy Center
The Honorable George K. Rasley Jr.
Managing Editor
ConservativeHQ.com
Terrence Scanlon
Retired Chairman and President
Capital Research Center 1994-2016
Marlin Sharp
Field Director
STAND Foundation, Inc.
Melissa Kaye Ortiz
Blogger/Admin
DCBelleonWheels.com
Kevin Freeman
Founder
NSIC Institute
Sheryl Kaufman
Corporate Chief Economist, Retired
Phillips Petroleum Company
Karen England
Executive Director
Nevada Family Alliance & Capitol Resource Institute
Jeremy Cerone
CEO
EliteSafe Inc.
Grace-Marie Turner
President
Galen Institute
Kielle C. Horton
President
The Lindsey Foundation
Marc Little
Chair
Center for Urban Renewal and Education
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Seton Motley
President
Less Government
Martha Boneta
President
Vote America First
Eric Georgatos
Executive Producer
America Can We Talk?
Andresen Blom
President
Hawaiian Values
Lee Beaman
CEO
Beaman Automotive Group
The Honorable Penny Pullen
Former Assistant GOP Leader
Illinois House of Representatives
Bobbie Patray
President
Tennessee Eagle Forum
Paul Gessing
President
Rio Grande Foundation
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Tim LeFever
Chairman
Capitol Resource Institute
Gary Marx
President
The Concord Fund
Richard Manning
President
Americans for Limited Government
Penna Dexter
Co-host
Point of View Radio
Joseph A. Morris
Partner, Morris & De La Rosa
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Reagan / Meese)
Cindi Castilla
President
Texas Eagle Forum
William Haygood Shaker
CEO
Washington Marketing Group
The Honorable Somers H. White
Former Arizona State Senator
Joan Holt Lindsey
President
Lindsey Communications
Robert D. Thompson
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch (1999-2016)
The Honorable Mike Hill
Representative
Florida State House
Jay Mount
President
MDS Communications
James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman
60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President
60 Plus Association
Trent England
Executive Director
Save Our States
Donna Hearne
CEO
Constitutional Coalition
Richard Norman
Founder and President
The Richard Norman Company
Richard D. Hayes
Partner
Hayes Berry White & Vanzant LLP
Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Nation
Willes Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Susan A. Carleson
Chairman/CEO
Carleson Center for Welfare Reform
The Honorable Peter Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus
Caroline Lewis
Owner
Percipio Communications
Lori Roman
President
American Constitutional Rights Union
Dr. Richard Rounsavelle
Trustee
Media Research Center
Randy M. Long
Founder
Long Business Advisors, LLC
William W. Pascoe, III
Board Member
Tea Party Patriots Action
Frank J. Gaffney
Executive Chairman
Center for Security Policy
Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness
Jeff Hunt
Director
Centennial Institute
Rob Gluskin
Managing Partner
Gluskin Investment Partners
William Mills
President
MPW Properties
Barry Meguiar
President
Ignite America
Dr. Richard Lee
President
There’s Hope America
Chad Connelly
President
Faith Wins
Doug Badger
Senior Fellow
Galen Institute
Amapola Hansberger
President
Legal Immigrants for America
Tim Macy
Chairman
Gun Owners of America
Kathleen Patten
President & CEO
American Target Advertising
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
E.C. Sykes
General Partner
Aslan Ventures
Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising
Eaton Hopkins
President
Liberty Surgical, Inc.
Ed Martin
President
Phyllis Schlafly Eagles
Cindy Honcoop
State Director
Washington Eagle Forum

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