With Democrats taking control of the U-S Senate, there’s a renewed effort to provide COVID relief funds to states and local municipalities.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer of New York held a joint virtual conference yesterday to talk about their Direct Support for Communities Act.
The act would give money to local governments for essential services, including frontline workers, and cover lost revenues since the pandemic began back in March.
Gillibrand says it will be easier to help smaller communities under Democratic leadership.
“Ultimately, Joe Biden will likely repeal parts of President Trump’s tax giveaways to large companies and to the wealthiest Americans. That will be resourced, at least a trillion dollars that will be brought back in to help support some of these measures,” says Gillibrand.
Gillibrand says a total dollar amount for the aid package hasn’t yet been determined.
Schumer says state and local governments have shouldered the massive burden of contact tracing, testing and securing PPE without financial assistance from the feds.
“They’ve had holes in their budgets, they’re drawing from their reserves, and, at the same time as we all know, they face significant losses of revenue with the economy shutting down. Even thought they knew exactly what the financial consequences would be, our localities have been determined to help in whatever way they can to fight COVID-19,” says Schumer.
Gillibrand says the bipartisan bill could be passed within a few weeks after the start of the new administration.