President Trump, Nikki Haley attack Illinois Democrats in tweets

Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley bashed Illinois Democrats after Illinois Senate President Don Harmon asked the feds for a $10 billion pension bailout.

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President Trump meets with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley at the White House

President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley attacked Illinois Democrats in separate tweets.

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President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are attacking Illinois Democrats for using the COVID-19 crisis to ask for a $10 billion state pension rescue and other federal aid.

The $10 billion was included in an April 14 letter Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, sent to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asking for $41 billion in federal assistance for the state of Illinois in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic economic meltdown.

Trump tweeted Monday:

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?

On Saturday, Haley tweeted:

A 5th aid package should not bail out states that have recklessly spent and taxed their way into oblivion. Illinois lawmakers are seeking tens of billions in taxpayer funds to deal with the state’s looming pension debt – that has nothing at all to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fact checks: Harmon made a bid for $10 billion, not “tens of billions” for the pension bailout. While Harmon said in his letter he was writing on “behalf of the 40-member Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus,” other Illinois Democrats kept a distance from Harmon’s request.

Harmon wrote to Durbin as Democrats were negotiating with Republicans over the fourth coronavirus emergency legislation. Congress passed that measure last week. Congress has not yet moved on a fifth package.

The request for the $10 billion pension life jacket touched a raw nerve with Illinois Republicans, because the state pension mess — to them — is emblematic of state of Illinois fiscal problems that predate the COVID-19 economic meltdown.

The bid to piggyback the longstanding Illinois pension problems on to the COVID-19 crisis also earned Harmon some criticism. On April 19,  a Sun-Times editorial was headlined, “Senate President Don Harmon’s foolish pitch to Washington can only hurt Illinois.”

On April 20, the five Illinois Republicans in Congress blistered Harmon for seeking at least $41 billion in federal COVID-19 aid, zeroing-in on the pension rescue.

“We fully support federal assistance to help defray some of the state’s losses, but we oppose using the crisis as an opportunity for a full-scale federal bailout,” the five said in a letter to Harmon, referring to the pension request.

The letter was signed by Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost and Darin LaHood.

Harmon also asked for $9.6 billion for municipal governments; $6 billion to help Illinois pay soaring jobless insurance claims; and $1 billion to assist “communities disproportionately impacted by the outbreak.”

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