Washington, D.C. – Today, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced legislation demanding states do as Congress intended: Stop hoarding federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) and distribute the money to those rural communities and smaller cities and towns that need it most.
Upon introduction of the legislation, Rep. Brady released the following statement:
“Congress was clear: relief funds given to states in the CARES Act were intended to be shared with small cities and rural communities. It is unacceptable that 32 states have refused to share these dollars to towns that need it most.
“If we are going to reopen our economy safely while continuing to apply maximum pressure on the virus, these communities need these funds now. My legislation will require States that received these dollars to submit a plan to Treasury by June 12th. If states fail to comply, we will start pulling back funding.”
Background: A report by the National League of Cities showed that as of May 18, thirty-two states were withholding federal funds from local governments. As a result, many governors, including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly have been under fire for failing to share federal COVID Relief Funds.
This legislation would require states that received funds from the CRF to certify to the Department of the Treasury by June 12, 2020, that they have a process in place for redistributing a portion of those funds to local governments within their jurisdiction. The certification must include a detailed description of that process.
If states do not make the certification by June 12, 2020, the Inspector General of the Department of Treasury must claw back 25% of the funds previously provided to the state.
This bill only applies to states and not to other units of local government.
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