By Jeannetyler Moodee Lockman and Rashard Davis
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday that the U.S. Constitution does not give the president control over operations in the states, stressing “governors have the ultimate decision about what to do in their states.”
Hogan challenged President Trump’s statement that it was his decision to reopen businesses in early May during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on The Newsroom. However, Hogan added, “We’d love to have the president’s cooperation.”
Trump suggested reopening the country because of the sinking economy.
“I think we had a very productive discussion with the nation’s governors, with the vice president and some of the top leaders just earlier today,” Hogan said, referring to a teleconference. “ We have some real cooperation going forward. We’ll be discussing with the team at the federal level some of their thoughts and ideas” on how to proceed in the future.
In asking Hogan about “your understanding” of Trump’s role and powers to open the country up, Cooper said “it doesn’t seem that’s the way it works under the constitution.”
Hogan responded, “It’s not my understanding of the Constitution.”
Earlier Monday, Hogan urged Congress to approve funding for the states in the amount of $500 billion. Hogan, chair of the National Governors Association, used the teleconference with the Vice President and White House experts to outline the many ways governors are taking measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Hogan said the $500 billion would meet the budgetary needs of the states, helping them recover from the crisis. Without the financial help, he said states would be forced to reduce essential services, “which will in turn devastate the economic recovery and our efforts to get people back to work.”
“Governors are on the front lines of the on-the-ground response, implementing aggressive measures that are beginning to successfully flatten the curve of the spread of the virus,” Hogan said in a statement. “The COVID-19 response is resulting in catastrophic damage to state economies, and fiscal assistant is critical now so that we can continue leading this fight.”