WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Congress and the White House are working out the next phase of economic relief.
Left out of negotiations however, money for local and state governments. Some lawmakers are concerned municipalities could suffer long term consequences.
From small towns to major cities, local governments across the country may soon cut services and lay off staff.
“These cities are seeing their tax bases decimated by the shutdown of businesses and reduction of sales tax,” Representative Harley Rouda, D-California, said.
Congressman Harley Rouda says the budget crisis is hitting right when local and state services are needed most.
“Unless the federal government wants to have these municipalities go bankrupt across the country, we need to step to the plate now,” Rouda said.
But as Congress negotiates its latest relief measure for small businesses and hospitals, funding for municipalities is not on the table.
“This is not designed to be a sweeping package that addresses widespread need. This is about urgently delivering resources,” Representative Katie Porter, D-California, said.
Representative Katie Porter says Democrats recognize the urgent need to help local governments but says Republicans favored a more limited package focused only on small businesses relief.
“Doesn’t do any good to have the House pass a bill, and send it to the Senate, only to have Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not act on it,” Porter said.
But Republicans say they aren’t opposed to direct payments to cities and counties, -they simply didn’t want it to be a part of this relief package.
“States and local governments need it. I’ll be the first to say it. I’m in favor of it,” President Trump said.
President Trump says he spoke with Republican Senators about it and suggested they’re also on board.
“We’re going to be saving that for a little bit of a later date,” Trump said.
The president said the issue will likely be the focus of the next negotiation.