Bill Includes Urgently Needed Resources for Local Governments Hurt by COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, legislation built on President Joe Biden’s comprehensive plan to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Among many critical provisions, the bill includes $350 billion in direct fiscal relief for state and local governments who have experienced significant budget shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has long been calling on Congress to help the cities who have been on the front lines of this crisis but seen little support from Washington to date. With rising costs and plummeting tax revenue, cities have had to make painful budget decisions including layoffs, furloughs, and cuts to essential services. Following House passage, USCM President and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement:

“American cities will be safer, stronger, and healthier because of this legislation, and mayors everywhere thank the House of Representatives for delivering for the American people. We appreciate Speaker Pelosi and the House showing leadership and standing with President Biden and his bold plan to rescue the American economy. This pandemic has shaken us all and revealed the depths of many systemic challenges facing our communities. Local governments have been working to help our residents get through this crisis from the start, but the costs have been significant. This bill will allow us to overcome the pandemic and move into a new phase of recovery. It offers the American people hope and optimism that this painful period may soon be behind us. The fiscal relief passed today will help close deep budget holes and enable cities to be an engine of our recovery. But the job is not done. Mayors urge the Senate to now act quickly on this package and preserve the desperately needed resources for cities of all sizes.”