Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are firing back at President Donald Trump after he criticized Democratic-run states and cities looking for help from the federal government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The president criticized the state of Illinois, questioning why the federal government should “be bailing out poorly run” states like Illinois and other states whose governors are Democrats:
Governor Pritzker dismissed the notion that Illinois is being poorly run, pointing out that his administration’s state budget was balanced and was set to deliver a budget surplus before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“To the extent that we’re talking about the federal government providing funding for states, ALL states need it,” Pritzker said. “Coronavirus has blown a hole in all state budgets across the country. There isn’t a single state that doesn’t need support from another CARES Act package.”
Pritzker also was quick to point out that Illinois contributes more money in federal taxes than it takes back from the federal government.
“As you know, we are a donor state to the federal government,” he said. “We pay more in federal taxes in Illinois than we get back from the federal government. The states who are being bailed out, year after year, are the states who take more out of the federal dole than they put in.”
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One of the states the governor criticized was Kentucky, and said that the state’s senior senator, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been an “obstacle” to obtaining more funding for states that desperately need it in the wake of the pandemic.
“Considering he comes from a state that gets more federal money than it gives in federal taxes, he’s a recipient state from the federal government, and the rest of us should benefit considering the coronavirus and its effects,” he said.
Mayor Lightfoot also blasted Trump’s tweets, saying that she feels the state of Illinois “very well run” and that Governor Pritzker has been doing an “excellent job” in dealing with the crisis.
“I don't think anybody took lightly and I know that the governor didn't and neither do I,” Lightfoot said of the extended “stay-at-home” order issued by Pritzker in recent days. “But they were necessary to save lives. But for the president, who has done an abysmal job in managing this crisis, to now again, try to pit people against each other, try to pick winners or losers (is wrong).
“He thinks he has done a good job in this crisis, and nothing could be further from the truth,” she added.
Lightfoot also pointed out Illinois’ record of contributing more in federal taxes than it receives from the government.
“What I know is taxpayers in this city in the state pay a lot to the federal government, and all we're asking for is our fair share,” she said. “And that is what should be involved in the calculus.”