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Coronavirus New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Rips Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's 'Completely And Utterly Irresponsible' Comments On Allowing States To Go Bankrupt

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/CNN ) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the state is making good progress in the COVID-19 battle but it is not ready to reopen its economy. Murphy has been asking for more federal help with testing.

On Wednesday, Murphy took aim at comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who floated the idea of letting states go bankrupt.

"Come on, man. That is completely and utterly irresponsible. There's no level of responsibility associated with that and I don't care what party you're in," Murphy said. "Encouraging, engendering explicitly, almost hoping for bankruptcies of American states in the midst of the biggest health care crisis this country has ever faced is completely and utterly irresponsible."

Murphy says New Jersey will not go bankrupt. However, it will be facing deep cuts to services.

McConnell took a hard line Wednesday against more funding for state and local governments in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak saying that Republicans are not interested in "revenue replacement for state governments" or "solving their pension problems."

Coronavirus New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Joint Contact Tracing Program With New York, Connecticut As Deaths Pass 5,000 In Garden State

McConnell's tough words came a day after the Senate approved a $484 billion bill to help small businesses and hospitals respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The measure did not include funds for state and local governments, despite Democrats arguing they are hard hit by the disease and the corresponding economic fallout.

Instead, McConnell suggested in interviews Wednesday that Democrats are trying to get the federal government to essentially bailout state and local governments for bad decisions they made related to public pensions obligations and other sources of expensive debt.

"I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route," McConnell told Hugh Hewitt in a radio interview. "It saves some cities. And there's no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don't have to do that. That's not something I'm going to be in favor of."

(©Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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