Washington, D.C. – Following reports that House Democrats are planning to unveil a new COVID-19 relief package next week, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement:
“We are encouraged to see positive movement toward a new COVID-19 relief package that will bring negotiators back to the table and deliver the critical aid that cities, towns and villages across the country need to support the economic recovery of our communities. While we are still in the early stages of this process, we are hopeful that next week’s proposal will serve as a constructive starting point for a bipartisan consensus on the need for direct federal aid to local governments that are continuing to struggle to maintain municipal operations, keep workers on the job, and facilitate the safe reopening of America’s main streets and small businesses.
“Any meaningful package must provide for the direct allocation of aid to municipalities of all sizes to ensure that those who were left behind by the CARES Act are able to address unprecedented budget shortfalls and increased costs due to the pandemic. Likewise, Congress must provide targeted intervention for local governments to use any new aid, as well as an extension of the time frame during which the aid can be used in order to provide long-term stability that municipalities need to effectively recover from the economic downturn in the coming months and years.
“We encourage congressional negotiators to continue moving toward the bipartisan solution that Americans deserve – one that will help restore the fiscal health of cities, towns and villages everywhere and ensure local governments can continue to provide the essential services our communities need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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.
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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.