Following Washington’s Recent Failure, President-elect Calls for $350 Billion in Direct Assistance to State and Local Governments

Washington, DC – Today, President-elect Joe Biden released his plan for economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) were briefed on it earlier. Among other solutions, the president-elect is proposing $350 billion in aid to state and local governments who have had their budgets decimated by the pandemic and been forced to shed more than one million jobs since it began. Washington failed to include support for cities in its most recent emergency package and, to date, only 38 American cities have seen any direct assistance. The plan proposed today would allow cities to preserve jobs, respond to the surging pandemic, and help drive our economic recovery. In response, USCM President Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued the following statement.

“The president-elect understands that we cannot leave American cities behind as people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. Cities continue to be on the frontline of fighting the pandemic. Providing direct, flexible aid to cities is the most efficient and immediate way for Congress to help families across the country who have been suffering for far too long. President-elect Biden has made clear he intends to solve this crisis, and mayors are grateful for his leadership. Cities of all sizes must have direct, flexible assistance so that they can be a driver rather than a drag on America’s recovery. We would welcome investments in our local public health infrastructure to expedite vaccine distribution and expand testing and tracing, which will ultimately save lives. We are grateful for the proposed assistance for individuals and families that will help relieve the income, housing, and food insecurity that burdens millions of households – now and in the future. The nation’s mayors look forward to working with President-elect Biden, Speaker Pelosi, incoming Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Members of Congress from both political parties to get this much-needed assistance enacted into law immediately.”