Republican senator proposes a $500 billion bail out for state and local governments
Sen. Bill Cassidy, a republican from Louisiana, is proposing a $500 billion bill that would give emergency relief funds to state and local governments as several of the nation’s governors say they need federal money to continue daily operations.
One-third of the money would be awarded based on population size, one-third based on the number of coronavirus cases in the state and one-third based on the state’s revenue loss, Cassidy said.
He said supporting local governments means supporting small businesses.
“Your city is going bankrupt because they rely upon sales tax, hotel bed tax, tourism to keep the police, to keep the fire, to keep the sanitation,” he told CNN Sunday morning. “The city’s bankrupt because a federally ordered lockdown has happened and now you don’t have the police, the sanitation. What is your restaurant going to do? It’s going to close its doors. Garbage piling up in front, and rats running in the garbage, is not what brings people through your doors.”
He said supporting the system of city workers who help businesses thrive, is important to the reopening of the economy.
“This is about supporting those small businesses by supporting the cops, the firemen, the sanitation workers who allow those small businesses to stay in business. We have an ecosystem, we need to support it,” Cassidy said.
Some background: Some states say they are facing billion dollar budget deficits because of spending needed to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell floated the possibility of states declaring bankruptcy rather than receive more federal aid.
While Republicans are in general agreement with McConnell that they should hit pause on any new funding, some GOP senators like Cassidy are publicly and privately expressing an openness toward a new round of aid to cash-strapped state and local governments
President Trump signed a more than $480 billion coronavirus relief package into law earlier this week –– but it did not include money for state governments.