Coronavirus Panel to Hold Member Briefing with Mayors on Urgent Need for More Federal Support During Pandemic
Washington, D.C. (May 28, 2020)—On Friday, May 29, 2020, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, will hold a video briefing with Mayors across the country as the nation tragically tops 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. The briefing will examine what their communities need from the federal government to stabilize local economies, protect the health and well-being of their residents, and safely reopen.
On May 13, 2020, bipartisan public health experts told the Select Subcommittee that as cities and states begin to reopen their economies, they need a coordinated plan from the federal government in place for testing, contact tracing, and procuring and distributing personal protective equipment and testing supplies.
To date, the Trump Administration has largely deferred and left this planning process to states, cities, and the private sector, creating mass confusion and needless loss of life and forcing many states and local officials to compete against each other and the federal government for supplies.
Mayors have made clear that they also require emergency relief from the federal government to maintain critical services and enable economic recovery in communities. A recent survey of more than 2,400 cities found that nearly 9 in 10 cities expected budget shortfalls due to the impact of the coronavirus, and many cities expected furloughs or layoffs of city employees and cuts to critical services as a result of these deficits.
The HEROES Act, passed by the House on May 15, 2020, would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency fiscal assistance to local governments responding to the coronavirus crisis, however the bill languishes in the Senate. The bill is supported by seven leading organizations representing state and local governments.