Sen. Hawley: Congress must focus on jobs, not bailing out fiscally irresponsible states

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While states were financially debilitated by the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Josh Hawley said on Monday that Congress should not focus its attention on bailing out fiscally irresponsible state and local governments.

“Fiscally irresponsible states shouldn’t be using this as an opportunity to get free money from the taxpayer because it isn’t free,” the Republican Missouri lawmaker told “Fox & Friends.”

Hawley said that Congress should instead be focused “jobs and getting people back to work," as the Senate resumes work on Monday on Capitol Hill. The Democrat-led House of Representatives remains out of session.

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“All this talk about state and local bailouts is misguided,” Hawley said, adding he would like to see a payroll tax rebate to allow businesses the room to bring back workers.

He added that senators need to be ready to "get after it" this week, even as House lawmakers remain home.

Hawley’s comments came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the Trump administration is not “looking to bailout” poorly managed states during his Fox News Town Hall with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, focused on reopening America during the coronavirus outbreak.

“What we did do in the Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Recovery Stimulus Act, there was $150 billion that were allocated to the states for coronavirus expenses,” Mnuchin said.

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Mnuchin went on to say, "One of the things that the president instructed me to do when we sent out guidance on Friday is that states can use the money for policemen, firemen, first responders without limits so we can make sure that none of those people who have been fighting the front lines in any way are impacted by the states having lower revenues.”

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Trump answered questions submitted by Fox News viewers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Trump last week asked why “taxpayers of America [should] be bailing out poorly run states,” in a signal he could be turning away from supporting funding for cash-strapped state and city governments in a new coronavirus relief bill.