On Saturday, National Governors Association (NGA) chair Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and vice chair New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on Congress to grant $500 billion to all states as the COVID-19 outbreak forces local businesses to close.
Hogan and Cuomo pointed out in a joint statement that even though states’ stay at home orders are successfully tamping down on the spread of the virus, the crucial orders have also caused “catastrophic damage to state economies.”
“To stabilize state budgets and to make sure states have the resources to battle the virus and provide the services the American people rely on, Congress must provide immediate fiscal assistance directly to all states,” they wrote. “We must be allowed to use any state stabilization funds for replacement of lost revenue, and these funds should not be tied to only COVID-19 related expenses.”
The two governors called on Congress to therefore amend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to allocate an extra $500 billion “specifically for all states and territories to meet the states’ budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from this unprecedented public health crisis.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) responded to Hogan and Cuomo’s plea several hours later, saying that state and local governments were “in a crisis.”
“On a bipartisan basis, governors are crying out for help and Congress must act,” she said in a statement. “Democrats will continue to push for urgently needed funds for state and local governments in the interim emergency bill and #CARES2.”