Pence Hints At Using Fed Budget To Give States ‘Strong Incentive’ To Reopen Schools

Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting on seniors with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House on June 15, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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July 8, 2020 2:53 p.m.
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Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday seemed to bolster President Donald Trump’s threat to cut funding for schools that don’t reopen in the fall.

When asked during a press briefing if Trump was serious about his threat, Pence noted that “roughly ten percent” of states’ education funding comes from the federal government (however, that funding is ultimately determined by Congress, not the White House).

“As we work with Congress on the next round of state support, we’re going to be working for ways to give states a strong incentive and an encouragement to get kids back to school,” the vice president said.

Pence mentioned budgetary “incentives” again after he was asked why local governments shouldn’t be the ones to decide whether schools reopen instead of Trump pressuring them to do so.

“What you’re going to see is the President is going to continue to provide leadership,” the vice president told reporters. “I expect as the debate in Congress goes forward about additional resources, we’re going to look into building incentives for states to go forward.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump accused Democrats of believing reopening schools “would be bad for them politically” via Twitter.

“May cut off funding if not open!” he threatened.

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