Lee, Blackburn say state being short-changed by $164M in COVID-19 relief bill

Gov. Bill Lee speaks to reporters following his address to a joint convention of the General Assembly on Jan. 19, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee and fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn say in an opinion piece for Fox News that congressional Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is a “blue state payday that shortchanges Tennessee by $164 million because it uses a distribution formula based on unemployment figures rather than population.”

Left unsaid is that the difference makes up about 2.7% of the $6.1 billion in federal money projected to flow to the state under the plan. And nobody is talking about saying no to the massive influx of federal dollars into Tennessee.

“This hyper-partisan bill and the process through which it’s being passed represents everything that’s wrong with Washington,” Lee and Blackburn say in the piece. “And unfortunately, Tennessee and other fiscally conservative states are on the losing end of the deal.”

38 Responses to Lee, Blackburn say state being short-changed by $164M in COVID-19 relief bill

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    So much is so often left unsaid by politicians who want to make a simple point. For example, how many liberals in touting this megapork “COVID-19 relief bill” explained that less than 10% of the spending goes for things that can actually be reasonably called “covid relief.”

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      Jeff says:

      That’s a conservative myth.

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      Jonathan Swift says:

      Stuart, it’s time to change your medications again. Because you always tend to not show the basis of your claims, it’s a mystery how you conclude that less than 10% of the spending goes for things that can actually be reasonably called “covid relief.” Unless it’s just another one of your unsubstantiated right-wing lies. Most of the spending is economic relief for the millions of people seriously affected by the pandemic. Included are short term tax cuts for lower and middle class families; you know, cuts like your fellow “conservatives” approved in 2017 for the rich and the corporations.

      Sure the bill has pork in it, just like every other bill Congress has passed in recent memory.

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      Not that Stuart guy says:

      Where did you pull that 10% from? Sounds like GOP talking lies to me. There are a variety of breakdowns available out there that show, for example, the direct payments to Americans, which is 100% pure Covid-related, makes up way more than 10% all by itself.

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    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Marsha go to H**L!!! Traitor. We will not forget. Time to retire. You will lose in 2022.

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    James White says:

    Quit taking federal money, with federal money comes federal control.

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      Jeff says:

      Tennessee would become the equivalent of a third-world country without federal aid

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        I know Jeff without the money that the federal government borrows or the Fed prints we would all shrivel up and die. In addition to getting the American people used to demanding more government than they are willing to pay for, the sad thing about federal funny money is the mental dependency so inappropriate for a free people that it causes.

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      Jonathan Swift says:

      It’s interesting how Lee & Co. whining about a 2.7% “short-change” in Federal COVID relief money (which over 60% of Americans approve of), but are happy to short-change our state by insisting on a Medicaid block grant.

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    Chris Norris says:

    When the GOP controlled Congress, they passed a relief bill in an identical amount ($1.9 trillion added to debt) and it benefitted big businesses and the super-wealthy. The GOP can’t stand it that the Dems’ bill (for $1.9 trillion) primarily helps the poor and middle class.
    Bill Lee and Marsha’s motto: Let them eat cake.

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    Norma says:

    I thought Blackburn and Hagerty voted against this bill so why are they bitching that TN is being cheated out of money?

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      Beatrice Shaw says:

      Agreed they are bitching, but voting AGAINST would give them reason. If they voted FOR it then they could not bitch.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Perhaps I can explain Norma. You see our great senators (I’m sure you are as anxious as I to see Hagerty’s Heritage score when it first comes out) are opposed to the megapork spendapaloosa bill because it’s needlessly expensive and we in Tennessee, a state well governed by conservatives, end up bailing out broke states misgoverned by liberals. Once the legislation is passed, however, we are entitled to a fair share of whatever goodies are transferred to the states. It’s the lack of that fairness that they are complaining about.

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        Cryan says:

        You have got to be kidding me. Tennessee, one of the smallest contributors to federal revenues and one of the largest recipients of federal expenditures is somehow bailing out other states? What are you smoking?

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        James White says:

        Our ‘great’ senators spend money like it is going out of style. Blackburn votes all the time to expand the debt limit and then votes to add TRILLIONS to the debt.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Regrettably the American people are no longer interested in fiscal discipline as is so characteristic of a people living in a country on the “Wrong Track” so I’m afraid the Republican Party officeholders reflect that lack of discipline.

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            MARLE says:

            Then why do we need paid representatives in DC? They are supposed to Lead, not follow the morons that elected them as they slouch their way to Gomorrah. That is precisely why they are anything but Great senators. Re-electable, yes. Great? Not by a long shot.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I refer you to the fact that Job One in my political endeavors is to make the Republican Party a more conservative party. A more conservative party would be a party pointing out the joys of small government and low spending.
            __________________________________
            To that end news for conservatives was made over in North Carolina yesterday when staunch conservative Mark Walker (Heritage-94%) officially announced his run for the Senate seat of retiring Richard Burr (Heritage-59%). That’s a 94% hoping to replace a 59%! I just might help to fund something like that!

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Yes, Stuart, the great explainer!

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        mike swafford says:

        BS

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    steve cates says:

    (Why does Stuart I. Anderson keep railing about the Heritage Foundation? I see it is based in WAshington, D. C. Surely he would not want anything to do with a group located there!?) Just wait until this money begins to hit TN and see our two U.S. Senators be first in line at ribbon cuttings, etc. where the money is being used. I have seen this happen often with the TN state budget monies. The CANNON COURIER would feature pictures of money coming in for the arts center, etc. and there would be old Mae Beavers right in the front row, smiling like a mule eating saw briers ,even though she had voted against the state budget~!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Unlike real estate Steve, with politics its ideology, ideology, ideology, rather than location, location, location.

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      MARLE says:

      Heritage is like a pair of crutches. IF you need them, then they are better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as the saying goes. But for those who can walk on their own they are not necessary.

      Feel pity for the mentally lazy or compromised who cannot, or will not, think for themselves and thus, in the truly neediest of ways, rely on heritage.

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    Paul says:

    If Tennessee had to live without the sluice of federal money that constantly flows in here, we’d be back to outhouses and open sewers instead of indoor plumbing. Either that or folks like Bill Lee would have to raise taxes since a lot of the folks ranting about government spending and taxes are all to happy to take it while doing talking of the other side of their mouth to show their conservative street cred. It’s win-win for our conservative senators and governor, since they can rail about pork and overreach on TV, accept the money, and then bizarrely get all sanctimonious that we aren’t getting enough from the trough! Hey folks, look here, those antifa loving libs in DC are after us patriots in TN again and not handing over enough free cash!

    Here’s an experiment for Bill Lee and his conservative company in Nashville….whack the TN paid budget items down or raise the revenue internally enough to where we don’t need any federal money to balance our state-funded/managed books and then this won’t be a problem next time. Lots of folks might find the results not so satisfying, but why not give it a go rather than just bloviate on TV? Take action rather than complain for once. But, it’s a lot easier to go on about Potato Heads, Dr. Seuss books, the squad, and other scary monsters under the conservative bed rather than doing anything it appears. Remember when conservatives loved to go on about “if we just lived within our means, we’d have a lot less problems?”. Now in TN super-majority lala land, it’s “we can’t live within our means and we’re not getting handed enough federal cash, woe is us”.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Some good points Paul and I’d like to give what you suggest a try only I want every state to do the same thing. I’m a consistent small government guy at the state as well as the federal level. The federal government should be throttled way back to its enumerated powers and the rest left to the individual states all of whom have to balance their budgets.

      No reason to expect that this state wouldn’t prosper under such a system. We are centrally located in this country population wise, have a temperate climate, and an industrious conservative population, indeed I have every confidence Tennessee would do just fine.

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      Donna Locke says:

      This won’t happen now, but the key at the federal level is to set expiration dates on the money giveaways. Set the expiration dates far enough into the future, but not way far, and make the public aware that they have to prepare for self-sufficiency. And then do the tough cuts, because all we are getting now is multiplication, and vast inequity for the middle class and all who live their lives responsibly.

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    Misty Pardner says:

    Lee is way in over his head. Boyd, Harwell and Black would have been a significantly better choice than our current Governor. Lee combined with the Republican super majority is doing more damage than they understand. But they do not care. The majority is vulnerable.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Too early for that Misty. We’re way too far away from the next election before we get the usual predictions from Tennessee Democrats out in the political wilderness about how this is the election when the Super Majority is going to fall or how the Democratic candidate in statewide election(s) is going to come within single digits in losing to the Republican. Best save that talk for a little later in the process.

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        No, when that day comes finally in TN it will hit you like a ton of bricks because you think and believe that it is simply impossible and you will keep on acting in a way that is arrogant and unappealing to the public. You won’t see it coming but it will definitely slap you into reality. They didn’t see it coming in Georgia either.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    It is comical to see the republicans whining about the “HUGE” amount of money that is in this bill when they gave out the exact same amount to the very richest in our country a few years back. Marsha’s constant whine is particularly annoying.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    James, yes, both bills spent the same amount of taxpayer money but which bill do you think helped the most people in our country?

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