Tuesday, 21 April 2020

‘Infuriating’: Nikki Haley Unloads On Illinois Dems For Trying To Use Crisis To Fund Its ‘Corrupt’ Pension System

In a social media post Sunday, former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley blasted the Illinois Senate Democrats for an “infuriating” attempt to use the coronavirus crisis in order to secure a partial “bailout” for the state’s collapsing pension system.
On Saturday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Democratic Illinois state lawmakers seeking “more than $41B in federal coronavirus aid — including $10B pension bailout.”
“Illinois Senate Democrats are asking the federal government for more than $41 billion in federal aid — about a quarter of it for a pension fund bailout — to keep the state financially afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to slash revenues across the board,” the paper reported. “A letter from Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, addressed to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, went out Tuesday to Illinois’ entire congressional delegation — a day before Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the economic shutdown would result in an estimated $2.7 billion revenue shortfall in the state’s current budget.”
“I realize I’ve asked for a lot, but this is an unprecedented situation, and we face the reality that there likely will be additional, unanticipated costs that could result in future requests for assistance,” Harmon wrote in the letter representing state senate Democrats.
Among the items the Democrats are requesting is the second phase of federal coronavirus relief as well as an additional $10 billion to fund the state’s pension system. Harmon is also requesting “$9.6 billion for local governments, $6 billion for Illinois’ overloaded unemployment insurance system and $1 billion in public health support for ‘historically underserved communities,'” the Chicago Sun-Times notes.
“This is infuriating,” Haley wrote in a tweet Sunday that included a link to the paper’s report (h/t Twitchy). “We can’t bailout Illinois’s notoriously corrupt and mismanaged pension system. We can’t have Congress going to the trough for things like like. States should not get windfalls. It All has to be paid back.”
Haley isn’t the only one who is calling foul on the Illinois Democrats’ attempt to use the COVID-19 crisis as a way of getting the federal government to pay for the state’s massive mismanagement of the pension system. The Illinois Republican Party also hammered their counterparts in the state.
“‘Never let a crisis go to waste’ as they say,” the Illinois Republican Party tweeted Saturday. “[Illinois Democrats] brazenly using a global pandemic as an excuse to ask the [federal government] to bail them out of the fiscal disaster they manufactured over the last two decades. [Senate President Don Harmon] should be ashamed.”
In a follow-up post, the Illinois Republicans added: “Wondering why Democrats are secretly asking for more than a $40 billion bailout — an amount roughly the same as our annual budget? Democrat ‘Chicago-style’ rule has bankrupted IL and now they need [money] to erase their massive failures.”
The Illinois Republicans also called out Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker for using the crisis to push his tax agenda. “The Dems mismanaged Illinois for decades — so now [Gov. Pritzker] levers a crisis to shill for tax hikes while his legislative ally goes to Congress and [President Trump] to ask for the greatest state bailout ever.”
While Harmon said his letter was shared with the Illinois governor, Pritzker attempted to distance himself from it during a press briefing Saturday, saying he was “not aware of the content of the letter” prior to it being sent to Congress, but also pushing for “unencumbered dollars” from the federal government, the Chicago Sun-Times notes.

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