Slatery sits out GOP AGs’ letter questioning federal stimulus rules for states, cities

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery, right, speaks with Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) on the House floor in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery is sitting out an initiative by Republican colleagues from other states raising concerns about rules attached to a key part of the $1.9 trillion federal economic aid package signed into law last week.

A letter signed by 21 Republican AGs questions Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration for announcing that $350 billion in COVID-19 relief for state, local, and tribal use cannot be used to offset tax cuts. That restriction would represent “the greatest attempted invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic,” according to the letter sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

A White House official told The Washington Post the stimulus bill sets conditions about how states can use the money, but does not say they can’t cut any taxes. “It simply instructs them not to use that money to offset net revenues lost if the state chooses to cut taxes,” the official said.

Previous rounds of federal stimulus funding passed under former President Donald Trump included provisions barring states from using the money to “backfill” revenues lost during the economic downturn.

Slatery earlier this month was one of 19 attorneys general signing on to a letter urging defeat a bill by congressional Democrats they said would “federalize state elections and impose burdensome costs and regulations on state and local officials.” In December, Slatery joined an amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the result of the presidential election to sway it in President Donald Trump’s favor.

5 Responses to Slatery sits out GOP AGs’ letter questioning federal stimulus rules for states, cities

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    You gotta dance with the one that brings ya.
    The United States Supreme Court decided that Congress may regulate whatever it subsidizes, Wickard v. Filburn, 87 L. ed. 122, 1942; and since it is impossible for either a state or a taxpayer to question the constitutionality of a congressional appropriation, Congress may bring any subject within its regulatory jurisdiction by the simple expedient of voting a subsidy for it, Frothingham v. Mellon, 67 L. ed. 1078, 1923. – “The Conservative American” – Clarence Manion, 1964.

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    steve cates says:

    I hope this is fully enforced. Otherwise, republicans will use the money to do exactly this: make it seem that they do not need tax monies which of course they will need.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    Interesting play from a man running against Bill Lee. I guess he can play both sides. Trumpies will forget about this and he can privately tell the rich RINOs to donate to his campaign because it’s all a show.

  • Avatar
    MPD says:

    The state should ignore this intrusiveness and do whatever is best for the residents of TN.

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