Governors warn COVID-19 relief is becoming a ‘political football’
The bipartisan chairs of the National Governors Association on Wednesday urged Congress to pass more economic relief efforts to help assuage the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, warning against allowing debate over the vital aid to become yet another partisan flashpoint.
In a joint statement, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said states need at least $500 billion in aid to make up for revenues lost during the crisis.
“Each day that Congress fails to act, states are being forced to make cuts that will devastate the essential services the American people rely on and destroy the economic recovery before it even gets off the ground,” Hogan and Cuomo wrote.
“With widespread bipartisan agreement on the need for this assistance, we cannot afford a partisan process that turns this urgent relief into another political football. This is not a red state or blue state crisis. This is a red white and blue pandemic. The coronavirus is apolitical. It does not attack Democrats or Republicans. It attacks Americans,” they said.
House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a sweeping $3 trillion aid package that includes $916 billion in funding for state, local and tribal governments.
Republicans have been critical of what they call bailouts to Democratic-led states, some of which face the steepest budget holes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the measure “exactly the wrong approach.”
McConnell wants to see state and local aid coupled with legislation that would indemnify businesses that are allowed to reopen from lawsuits related to the coronavirus.
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