Top Priority for American Mayors in Fight Against COVID Moves Forward
Washington, DC – Today the House Committee on Oversight and Reform approved a package of funding that includes $350 billion in direct fiscal assistance to states, local governments, territories and tribes. The legislation is the Committee’s contribution to the larger Biden COVID rescue plan, which has made helping American cities a priority. Securing these critical resources for cities has also been the top priority for the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM).
All across America, in cities big and small, mayors are confronting enormous budget deficits as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. To date, most cities have received no direct funding to help mitigate the increased costs and falling revenue stemming from the crisis. As a result, cities have been forced to make layoffs, furlough workers, and cut essential services. The funding approved by the committee today will be critical to helping cities, residents, and the American economy recover.
This legislation will now be combined with other pieces of the Biden plan at the House Budget Committee before the entire package is voted on by the full House of Representatives. Celebrating this important step, USCM President Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement:
“Mayors everywhere thank Chairwoman Maloney and members of the committee for recognizing the tremendous challenge facing American cities. From the start of this crisis, local leaders have been fighting on the frontlines to defeat this virus, but the cost has been enormous. The severe budget crunch created by this pandemic has contributed to more than one million state and local jobs being lost, including police, firefighters, and teachers. To build back better we must have strong cities that can drive our recovery. No city could have been prepared for the costs of this pandemic, and we are grateful to President Biden for supporting the local governments that have been supporting relief efforts on the ground. We still have a long way to go, and I urge Chairman Yarmuth and the Budget Committee to act quickly on the next legislative stage, but this was an important step to bringing relief for cities and the people who call them home.”