NLC Statement on Problem Solvers Caucus ‘March to Common Ground’ COVID-19 Relief Framework

September 17, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus’ “March to Common Ground” COVID-19 relief framework, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement:

“The National League of Cities commends the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus for introducing the March to Common Ground framework that includes much-needed aid to local governments. This proposal demonstrates there is significant and growing bipartisan support in Congress to provide additional assistance to municipalities that public officials and top economists alike have called for over the past several months – assistance that will be critical to mitigating the disastrous long-term effects of the pandemic on our nation’s economy.

“From the start, America’s 19,000 cities, towns and villages have served as the frontline of our nation’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic, and in protecting our fellow citizens, have incurred severe budget shortages that impact essential public services, private sector growth and job creation. NLC’s annual City Fiscal Conditions report shows cities are expected to lose $360 billion in revenue during the next three years, and that approximately 90 percent of localities, including small and rural towns, will be less able in FY 2021 than in FY 2020 to meet their public duties to their residents.”

“Despite this urgency, most local governments are still waiting for federal aid to support their early and ongoing efforts to intervene in health and fiscal declines related to COVID-19. With 75 percent of Coronavirus Relief Funds already allocated by the states and no longer available, existing federal aid is effectively unobtainable for these localities.

“Make no mistake – there is still much work to be done in order to ensure our nation’s cities, towns and villages are on solid economic footing following the devastating impact of the pandemic and multiple natural disasters on communities across the country. We urge congressional negotiators to build on the Problem Solvers Caucus renewed commitment to bipartisanship to deliver a win for American communities. Now more than ever, Congress has to seize the moment to ensure American cities can lead the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and chart a path to a prosperous future.”

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.

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.