Kay C. James: Policymakers Must Resist State and Local Bailouts

Kay C. James: Policymakers Must Resist State and Local Bailouts

Apr 21, 2020 1 min read

WASHINGTON - This afternoon the Senate will consider legislation backed by President Trump to replenish funds in the Paycheck Protection Program. Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James released the following statement:

It’s past time for Congress to provide additional relief for small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program helps with the primary economic goal of keeping workers connected to their jobs during this temporary crisis, which is critical to eventual economic recovery.


Far-left politicians have held small business owners and workers hostage for weeks trying to secure no-strings-attached dollars to bail out state and local governments that have had budget problems unrelated to the current pandemic. Not only would such a bailout set the stage for future mismanagement, it is not the federal government’s role to use taxpayer dollars to finance states’ ordinary operations or encourage longer shutdown measures than necessary.


While the final agreement to fund the Paycheck Protection Program fortunately doesn’t include this provision, policymakers must continue to resist calls for state and local bailouts. Instead, Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recommends that Congress provide targeted and temporary economic relief for taxpayers, families, and businesses of all sizes.

The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission brings together 17 experts whose mission is to help save both the lives and livelihoods of the American people. The commission has released 47 specific recommendations to reopen America that cover the first two phases of the commission’s previously announced five-phase approach to recovery. The full list of recommendations can be found here.

Reopening America and combating the novel coronavirus requires an “all of society” approach. For example, the commission’s recommendations call on governors to use local data to determine when it is safe enough to begin opening individual counties or regions and to do it as expeditiously as possible.