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Western states ask Congress for $1 trillion in coronavirus relief

Western states ask Congress for $1 trillion in coronavirus relief
© getty: California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Five western states have signed a joint letter to the leaders of both parties in Congress requesting a combined $1 trillion in coronavirus relief funding from the federal government.

The letter, which was released on Twitter by the governors of Oregon and Nevada, is also signed by the governors of California, Washington and Colorado.

Addressed to House and Senate leaders, it warns that states will be forced to make "impossible decisions" such as cutting public healthcare funding or laying off first responders and teachers should Congress not act.

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"Without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions — like whether to fund critical public healthcare that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders," they wrote.

"And, without additional assistance, the very programs that will help people get back to work — like job training and help for small business owners — will be forced up on the chopping block," the governors continued.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomMajority want their states to stay open amid coronavirus surge: poll Newsom, family quarantining after exposure to COVID-19 One of Gov. Newsom's children quarantines after potential COVID-19 exposure MORE (D) confirmed the request at a Monday press conference, according to multiple news outlets, and warned that his state was now facing billions of dollars in deficits.

"We are now struggling with tens of billions of dollars in budget deficits, directly as an impact, directly because of the impact of this disease, COVID-19," he said, according to NBC affiliate KCRA 3.