White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Friday that the Trump administration may insist on sanctuary city reform in discussions with states on the next round of COVID-19 relief funding, commonly referred to as “phase four.”
“Phase 4 is something we want to start negotiating on immediately and get to work on,” McEnany said on her first day on the job as the new White House press secretary, adding that funding shouldnt “be an excuse for decades and decades of bad Democrat governance that have run these states into a financial predicament.”
“I dont want to get ahead of the negotiations but I do want to emphasize he has mentioned sanctuary cities,” she added. “It is something he would like to see in phase four.”
McEnanys remarks at the press briefing echo earlier statements made by President Donald Trump, who on Tuesday suggested that federal pandemic relief to states could hinge on their sanctuary city policies.
In remarks during an April 28 meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump listed a few possible caveats for federal funds to help states fighting COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from China late last year.
“Wed have to talk about things like payroll tax cuts. Wed have to talk about things like sanctuary cities, as an example,” Trump added.
Trump also said a distinction should be drawn between states with funding shortfalls due to outbreak versus due to poor fiscal management.
“I think theres a big difference with a state that lost money because of COVID and a state thats been run very badly for 25 years. Theres a big difference, in my opinion,” he said.