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Donald Trump links bailout for states to ending ‘sanctuary cities’

Donald Trump links bailout for states to ending ‘sanctuary cities’ – while taking a swipe at blue states that have been ‘run very badly for 25 years’

  • President Trump said he’d be open to seeing cash strapped states get federal money if they buckled to his policy agenda 
  • In a meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump brought up the issue of so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ 
  • Trump suggested he’d be open to funding states that stopped ignoring federal immigration law  

President Trump tentatively said he was open to giving federal money to states whose budgets need help due to the coronvirus crisis – but they would have to fall in line with his policy agenda. 

‘We’d have to talk about things like sanctuary cities, as an example, I think sanctuary cities is something that has to be brought up where people who are criminals are protected, they are protected from prosecution,’ Trump said Tuesday during an Oval Office meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Trump had spent Monday slamming U.S. cities and states seeking billions more dollars in federal aid to offset huge losses from the pandemic, suggesting that blue states – like New York, which has been the epicenter of the American outbreak – are simply badly run. 

President Trump said Tuesday he’d be open to giving cash strapped states federal funds if they fell in line with his policy agenda. Trump specifically mentioned sanctuary city status, where federal immigration laws are ignored, as something he’d like to see the money tied to 

President Trump (right) made the comments seated alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) in the Oval Office on Tuesday

President Trump (right) made the comments seated alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) in the Oval Office on Tuesday 

He took a swipe at Illinois, another state controlled by a Democratic governor.   

‘Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

He continued to complain about the states during Tuesday’s meeting with DeSantis. 

‘I think there’s a big difference with a state that lost money because of Covid and a state that’s been run very badly for 25 years,’ Trump said.  

But the president also uttered a realization – that federal funding could be used as a carrot to get Democratic states to do his bidding. 

‘And you know, we’d have to talk about things like payroll tax cuts,’ the president said. 

As far as getting rid of sanctuary cities, Trump said, ‘I think that has to be done. I think it’s one of the problems that the states have. I don’t even think they know they have a problem, but they have a big problem with the sanctuary situation.’ 

Trump has long decried left-leaning ‘sanctuary cities’ like San Francisco that don’t cooperate with the federal government’s carrying out of immigration laws.   

Mayors and governors have been facing financial crisis as U.S. coronavirus cases topped 960,000 and led to nearly 55,000 deaths. 

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders to curb the virus have also triggered a surge in unemployment, curtailed consumer spending and depressed local tax revenue.

Congress has allocated $150 billion for state and local governments, but governors requested another $500 billion and cities and counties want $250 billion to cover the costs of responding to the outbreak and replace lost revenue.

Trump seemed to originally be following the lead of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said last week on a conservative talk radio show that he ‘would certainly be in favor’ of letting states enter bankruptcy.’ 

McConnell massaged that message on Monday. 

‘I wasn’t saying they had to take bankruptcy. I think it’s just an option to be looked at, that unfortunately states don’t have that option now, cities do. I wasn’t necessarily recommending it, but I was pointing out that they have their own fiscal problems that predate the coronavirus, and I was not interested in borrowing money from future generations to fix age-old problems that states have that they created themselves wholly unrelated to this,’ McConnell clarified on Guy Benson’s radio show.  

Other Republicans, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association (NGA), and some Republican senators, support funding for state and local governments.

Democratic governors, including NGA Vice Chairman and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, blasted McConnell’s original comments, saying their states pay far more in federal taxes than they take in and allowing bankruptcy would upend financial markets.