WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Lawmakers are now shifting their focus toward creating and passing the next coronavirus relief package.
Democrats argue the only way it will pass the House is if it includes money for local and state governments, which are on the verge of going broke and laying off essential workers.
Rep Anthony Brindisi, D-New York, said his state faces a revenue shortfall of 13 billion dollars
“If we don’t get funding to states, like New York, right now – they’re going to see cutting across the board in so many areas it’s going to be a real bloodbath,” Brindisi said. “They’re going to have to cut education programs, they’re going to have to cut back on healthcare, they’re going to cut back on the aid and assistance that goes to localities.”
Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, said communities in his state are no different.
“They’re accruing all kinds of costs that, quite frankly, they’re going to have to find a way to pay for. They need additional monies,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the House will send the needed help to local and state governments nationwide.
“There will not be a bill without state and local aid,” Pelosi said.
But the idea faces a hurdle in the Republican-controlled Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has suggested letting state and local governments file for bankruptcy is a better option.
“We’re not going to let them take advantage of this pandemic to let them solve problems they created for themselves,” McConnell said.
But some Republicans disagree, including Rep. John Katko, R-New York.
“Going into phase four we’ve got make sure that aid is there – that our local governments are protected,” Katko said. “We’re not here to plug the budget gaps that they had before the coronavirus – but we’re here to try and help them as best we can.”
Katko said it won’t be a perfect solution, however, since Congress has a limited supply of money.