Following the release of official data for second-quarter economic output, Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities made the following statement:
“Today’s devastating report on the contraction of the U.S. economy underscores what local leaders and economists have been warning for months – our national economic recovery will stall without significant investment in our communities. The economic picture is bleak, the reality on the ground is grim and any hope of a quick economic recovery will be a pipe dream unless Congress provides direct federal assistance to cities, towns and villages on the front lines.
“Current and former Federal Reserve chairs, including Jerome Powell, Janet Yellen, and Ben Bernanke, have all made clear that strained local budgets create a major drag on our nation’s economic recovery and a failure to address these unprecedented shortfalls will only further stall our efforts to recover from the current downturn.
“Municipalities across the country are at serious risk of being wiped out. Facing more than $360 billion in projected revenue shortfalls over the next three years, our cities have already begun to lay off essential employees, cancel job-creating infrastructure projects, and reduce the services that support the operation and growth of small businesses in their communities. Make no mistake: the economic pain our country finds itself in today will only grow more acute if Congress does not make a serious commitment to deliver direct federal aid to local governments.
“Our cities, towns and villages need immediate relief. Every day wasted prolongs the economic pain caused by COVID-19.”
NLC launched the Cities Are Essential campaign in May, calling on the federal government to ensure there is flexible, direct funding relief provided to America’s municipalities.