Biden: Governors and Mayors Want $350 Billion to Struggle COVID | Enterprise Information

By JOSH BOAK and KEVIN FREKING, The Related Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors on the White Home on Friday as a part of his push to present monetary reduction from the coronavirus pandemic to state and native governments — a transparent supply of division with Republican lawmakers who view the spending as wasteful.

As a part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package deal, Biden needs to ship $350 billion to state and native governments and tribal governments. Whereas Republicans in Congress have largely objected to this initiative, Biden’s push has some GOP help amongst governors and mayors.

“You people are all on the entrance traces and coping with the disaster since day one,” Biden mentioned at the beginning of the Oval Workplace assembly. “They’ve been engaged on their very own in lots of circumstances.”

Republican lawmakers have confused that some previous support to state and native governments stays unspent and revenues have rebounded after slumping when the coronavirus first hit. However state governments have shed 332,000 jobs because the outbreak started to unfold final February, and native governments have reduce almost 1 million jobs, in line with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Republican Govs. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Larry Hogan of Maryland attended the Friday assembly, together with Democratic governors, together with New York’s Andrew Cuomo and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham. The mayors of Atlanta, Detroit, Miami and Arlington, Texas, additionally had been on the assembly. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was set to attend, however she couldn’t as a consequence of White Home well being screening and security protocols, in line with her press secretary.

Below the reduction package deal being crafted in Home committees this week, each state and the District of Columbia would get not less than $500 million, however a lot of the cash going to states can be distributed primarily based on their share of unemployed staff nationally.

Native governments would additionally get $130.2 billion and tribal governments would get $20 billion.

The cash might be used to cowl prices incurred due to the pandemic and misplaced income and to handle the unfavorable financial impacts of the illness.

Congress supplied $150 billion in direct help to state and native governments in an earlier reduction package deal signed into regulation final March.

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the lead Republican on the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform, mentioned that tens of billions of {dollars} from that laws has but to be spent and that the push to “bail out locked-down states that shuttered small companies, colleges, and church buildings is authorities waste, pure and easy.”

The committee was to take up its portion of the COVID reduction invoice on Friday.

“Earlier than Congress even considers giving states and native governments one other dime, funds already obtainable to them should be used,” Comer mentioned in an announcement previous to the listening to.

Boak reported from Baltimore.

Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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