Maine Senators react to comments made by Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 11:52 PM EDT
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Senator Angus King says Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was wrong to characterize coronavirus aid as a "blue state bailout."

King says the $484 billion package signed by President Trump Friday finances more loans for small businesses and nonprofits, helps hospitals and health care providers, and pays for more virus testing.

King says McConnell should not have suggested only Democratic-led states need the help.

"I think Mitch McConnell may be a little color blind. He talks about this being a "blue state bailout, it's the leading advocate for assisting the states in this situation as Larry Hogan, who's the Republican Governor from Maryland who's the head of the National Governors Association. The fact is the states, many of the states are being absolutely crushed,” Senator King explained. A good example here in Maine is, if you stop and think about it, people aren't driving and estimates I've heard are up to 40% of the gas tax has disappeared and that's what we use to repair the roads."

Senator Angus King isn't the only one weighing in on Mitch McConnell’s statements.

Senator Susan Collins said she disagrees with them.

We spoke with Senator Collins earlier Friday.

She said allowing states to go into “bankruptcy is not the answer.”

“Because of the impact of the virus we've seen states have a huge drop-off in income tax receipts, sales tax receipts, in general, they are going to be in tough shape,” Senator Collins added. That's why we've already provided $150 billion in funding."

Senator Collins believes more funding could be forthcoming.