The political argument, however, has been confused by the different experiences of government revenues in the crisis, which are not doing well on party lines. States that are heavily dependent on tourism, like Florida, or energy taxes like Wyoming, face huge deficits, as do liberal bastions like California and New York.
“There are many states that are doing reasonably well right now, and some that are having significant problems,” said Jared Walczak, vice president of government projects for the Tax Foundation in Washington, who collects data on government and local aid. “That makes it very difficult to put together a coalition. This list of states isn’t red or blue, but there is a divide. “
Some Senate Republicans have supported more aid to states, including negotiators in the bipartisan group like Senators Susan Collins from Maine and Bill Cassidy from Louisiana. However, the legislature has tried to reach an agreement on how much is necessary and how the funds should be divided.
“Some states have money for rainy days and tell us they don’t need any more money,” said Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, at a news conference this week. “Others say they need a lot more than we can imagine sending to them, big differences in data and differences in how well they have managed themselves in the past.”
Many Republicans have consistently spoken out against state aid, saying it would reward Democratic states that have poorly managed their finances. One of their main points was that states could use federal support to prop up pensions for public employees – although the draft bipartisan agreement would have prohibited such spending.
“What the Democrats really want is for Congress to only send money to liberal politicians who have already shown they cannot be trusted,” wrote Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida – a state with a 2.7 budget deficit Billion dollars – opened for National Review in one last week. “If these politicians have budget constraints, it is because they did not prioritize their struggling voters and instead wasted money on other things.”
Influential conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform and Heritage Action for America have called the issue the “conservative red line.”