Washington, D.C. – Today, National League of Cities (NLC) Executive Director and CEO Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement following the release of a congressional COVID-19 relief package that excludes critical emergency relief for local governments:
“It is beyond disappointing that after months of watching our hometowns and our local economies ravaged by COVID-19, congressional leaders have failed to deliver critical support for the first responders, public safety personnel, and municipal officials who have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe since the beginning of the pandemic. As COVID-19 cases rise across the country and local officials race to put in place the infrastructure to distribute vaccines to their residents, there has never been a more important moment to deliver the critical relief our communities. While we appreciate the limited provisions aimed at temporarily alleviating the financial pain in our communities, these measures are woefully inadequate to address the systemic and long-term challenges facing local governments due to the pandemic.
“Although this week began with lawmakers predicting a ‘Christmas miracle,’ it is now clear that all they were able to deliver was a lump of coal in the stocking of every mayor across the country.
“While Congress ignored the guidance of economists and local leaders on both sides of the aisle, NLC and its members will continue to push them to heed the calls of local leaders and deliver direct federal aid to every city, town and village in America to support our nation’s economic recovery and ensure the safe, efficient and equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We look forward to additional federal support as the first priority of the next Congress. Without this additional aid, local governments will be forced to make cuts to critical services and personnel, hampering our country’s ability to heal from this sickness and dragging our national economy for years of uncertainty to come.”
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 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.