(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-02), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) and Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) and 70+ colleagues in introducing the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, new legislation to provide $250 billion in stabilization funds for local communities, cities and towns across the United States that are struggling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27th, provided stabilization funds for states and larger communities, but capped localities able to receive direct support at those with populations of over 500,000. This excludes large metropolitan areas, like Minneapolis; Dayton, Ohio; and Flint, Michigan; as well as towns, cities, and rural counties that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. Mid-sized municipalities were overlooked for direct funds, as well as rural communities.
“From Boulder and Fort Collins to Eagle County, communities across our district, and communities across the country are struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Like their larger neighbors, these smaller counties, cities, and towns have faced enormous costs while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These costs include deploying timely public service announcements to keep Americans informed, rapidly activating emergency operations, readying employees for telework to keep services running, and more. We must ensure each of our communities receive direct stabilization funds to address the outbreak and recover when this public health emergency has passed.”
“Communities across the United States – including in New Mexico – are experiencing the public health and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress has worked in a bipartisan fashion to begin to address this crisis, we must do more to support local and state governments that are incurring significant costs responding to this pandemic,” said Assistant Speaker Luján. “This legislation ensures that all communities receive the direct relief they need and I will continue to fight to provide our local communities with the necessary resources needed to overcome this crisis.”
“I talk daily with leaders in the 21 communities in my district,” said Congressman Andy Levin. “They’re working around the clock to acquire tests and protection for their first responders, help their hospitals and schools, and more. The least we can do is make sure they have the resources to keep this essential work going. We must provide direct support to the small communities across America that are working everyday to keep families safe. That’s what this bill does.”
“COVID-19 has hit New Jersey hard, including in our smaller and more rural municipalities,” said Congressman Malinowski. “As local revenues dry up, these communities need direct support from the federal government to survive.”
See the bill text here.