McMaster leads group of governors against COVID-19 relief bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has put out a strong statement, along with 21 other governors, against the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House early Saturday morning.

The joint statement takes issue with the funding allocated to states in the bill, calling it “biased” because it would be based on a state’s unemployed population, rather than its total population:

“Unlike all previous federal funding packages, the new stimulus proposal allocates aid based on a state’s unemployed population rather than its actual population, which punishes states that took a measured approach to the pandemic and entered the crisis with healthy state budgets and strong economies.

“A state’s ability to keep businesses open and people employed should not be a penalizing factor when distributing funds. If Congress is going to provide aid to states, it should be on an equitable population basis.”

The statement cites a report from the House Budget Republicans that claims “states run by the Democrat majority’s political allies disproportionately benefit from an increase in funding.”

The state set to gain the most from the bill, according to the Republicans’ report, is California, which would see a boost of more than $5 billion, the report says.

However, some of the states that will see increased funding under the bill, according to that report, are run by Republicans, and several states set to lose funding are run by Democratic governors.

States set to lose funding, the report says, include Democratic-led states Virginia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, Maine and Delaware.

Republican-led states set to gain funding include: Texas, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maryland.

All but one of the governors who cosigned the statement against the COVID-19 relief bill are Republican.

They include: Kay Ivey (R-AL), Mike Dunleavy (R-AK), Doug Ducey (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Brian Kemp (R-GA), Brad Little (R-ID), Eric Holcomb (R-IN), Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Laura Kelly (D-KS), Tate Reeves (R-MS), Mike Parson (R-MO), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Chris Sununu (R-NH), Doug Burgum (R-ND), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Kevin Stitt (R-OK), Henry McMaster (R-SC), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Bill Lee (R-TN), Spencer Cox (R-UT) and Mark Gordon (R-WY).

For reference, here is the full $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill:

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