Politics Lawmakers plead for more cash for local governments
What's in Congress' $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package
The massive stimulus package negotiated between the Trump administration and congressional leaders early Wednesday is an unprecedented $2 trillion aid package designed to help the public and the economy to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provides direct help to citizens, businesses, hospitals and state and local governments. It needs to be passed by the Senate and the House. A Senate vote may come as soon as Wednesday.Here are some of the provisions:Big BusinessesAbout $500 billion can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S.
More than 100 Democrats are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to provide desperately needed cash for local governments in the next emergency coronavirus package, warning that smaller cities and towns could soon run out of money to halt the spread.
The group of lawmakers, led by Reps. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and Joe Neguse (D-Col.), warned in a letter to Pelosi that less-populated regions will need a quick cash infusion to continue emergency services, after receiving no direct support in the last $2 trillion-plus package that was approved last week.
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The sweeping $2 trillion deal that Congress and the White House reached on Wednesday seeks to ward off widespread economic and public health catastrophe caused by the coronavirus outbreak—but it may overlook the unprecedented disruption that it’s already having on American democracy. The sweeping $2 trillion deal that Congress and the White House reached on Wednesday seeks to ward off widespread economic and public health catastrophe caused by the coronavirus outbreak—but it may overlook the unprecedented disruption that it’s already having on American democracy.
“We are concerned that the COVID-19 relief packages considered thus far have not provided direct funding to stabilize smaller counties, cities, and towns,” according to the letter obtained by POLITICO.
The issue over funding for localities had been a heated debate within the House Democratic caucus last week, with several lawmakers fuming that the most recent package prioritized aid for larger, more urban areas and ignored localities with fewer than 500,000 people.
The gigantic $2 trillion relief bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday does include a $150 billion relief fund for state and local governments to combat the crisis on the ground. But the cash won’t go to hundreds of smaller cities, including Minneapolis, Minn., Dayton, Ohio, Flint, Mich. and Bridgeport, Conn.
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Some Democrats were so furious that smaller cities and towns would be left out of the relief package that Pelosi before last week’s vote that there was one Democratic member who might delay quick passage and demand a roll call vote on the massive package, though she did not name the lawmaker.
The National League of Cities had also protested that particular provision, urging lawmakers to “fix” the relief fund by allowing localities with a population of less than 500,000 — but no more than 50,000 — to access the funds.
House Democrats have already begun assembling a fourth relief package in response to the outbreak, and Pelosi has said she will push for several priorities that were left on the cutting room floor in previous negotiations.
The House is expected to return as soon as late April to take up that package and send it to the Senate.
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