McGrath: McConnell Abandoning Our State, Local Governments

Inaction leaves police officers, firefighters, teachers at risk of losing jobs, pensions

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday made his first campaign stop to hear from voters in months, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who is running against the unpopular senator, criticized his refusal to help state and local governments right now and his falsehoods about what he has done.

COVID cases are spiking in Kentucky, and McConnell adjourned the Senate without passing further aid for Kentuckians.

“Mitch is touting the money he has provided to state and local governments, but in reality, that money is too limited in amount and in scope to make a dent in what Kentucky needs right now,” said McGrath. “Our state is looking at a $1.1 billion shortfall next year. That’s our teachers, firefighters and police officers. That’s our roads, dams and bridges. Mitch is bragging about this money, but he set it up in such a way that it can’t be used to help those people or those services.” 

The CARES Act placed strict restrictions on the funds for state and local governments. The funds could only be used on budget items that weren’t included in the budget as of March 27 and that were only deemed necessary because of the pandemic. The funding also cannot replace revenue the state and local governments lost because of the pandemic, despite the fact that the state and local governments in Kentucky and elsewhere have been struggling with revenue shortfalls.  

Experts have noted that the most impactful form of stimulus from the Great Recession was the federal government’s stimulus to state and local governments. 

“Back in April, Mitch told Kentucky to go bankrupt,” said McGrath. “Now, he’s realizing that people want their teachers to have jobs, their firefighters to have pensions and their police forces to be staffed. So, what’s he doing? The same old thing: he’s lying to Kentuckians.” 

McGrath also noted that the CARES Act funding clearly shows Mitch’s priorities.

“In the CARES Act, he created a $500 billion slush fund - with no strings attached and no accountability - for the biggest corporations,” said McGrath. “He found $250 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And now, he tells Kentucky, there won’t be another aid package after he refused to give it enough the first time. Our state deserves better.”