Governors, Tribal Leaders Call for Critical Relief Provided in American Rescue Plan

Feb 12, 2021
Press Release
Committee to Mark Up $350 Billion in Relief for State, Local, Tribes and Territories This Afternoon

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 12, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, released statements of support from governors and tribal leaders calling for Congress to pass legislation that will allocate funding to states, localities, Tribes, and territories to fight the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic impacts.


“The coronavirus pandemic is devastating Americans’ physical health and economic stability from coast to coast,” Chairwoman Maloney said.  “This unprecedented crisis warrants a bold and urgent response.  The American people cannot afford any more delays.  Critical services will be restored and bolstered, and jobs will be saved in communities across the country, because of this critical relief.”


In addition to allocating $350 billion in funding to states, localities, Tribes, and territories, the Committee’s Fiscal Year 2021 Reconciliation Act provisions include $570 million for emergency leave for federal and postal workers, and $117 million for oversight entities to promote transparency and accountability of all federal coronavirus relief funds. 


Today, at 12:00 p.m. EST, Chairwoman Maloney will hold a business meeting to consider this legislation.  The livestream of the markup will be available on YouTube and the Committee website.


Click here to read the bill text.


Click here to read the one pager.


Click here to download the direct funding estimates for states, localities, Tribes, and territories.  Please note that the estimates are approximations and subject to change.


Below is a list of statements of support from governors and tribal leaders across the country urging Congress to provide critical relief to fight the coronavirus pandemic.


Colorado Governor Jared Polis:  “The $350 billion in aid provided will support critical state and local government functions on the front lines of this pandemic and provide support to struggling small businesses and individuals across our state.  In particular, we support the current state aid allocation formula based on the unemployment rate because it will effectively target states like Colorado suffering from significant economic impacts of losses in leisure, hospitality, and other particularly hard-hit industries.  The unemployment-based formula is better suited to respond to this crisis than a revenue-based formula because it responds more directly to those areas with the greatest need, while the $25.5 billion distributed equally across states ensures that the needs of other states are not missed either.”


Hawaii Governor David Ige:  “We appreciate the compassion and hard work by the Oversight and Reform Committee to hear the plights of all states and territories and to provide the relief for which we have been asking.  The road to recovery has been a prolonged one and this is a positive step to ensuring the health, safety and economic viability of our communities.”


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly:  “I am encouraged to learn that legislation is under consideration to provide $350 billion to state, county, and city governments.  I have joined my fellow governors repeatedly over the past year to call for increased assistance for state and local governments on the front line of the coronavirus battle.  The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) in the CARES Act was an important step, but we are now almost a year past this first effort.  More can be done to boost the state and local response as every agency of our governments struggles with the effects of COVID-19.”


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards:  “Our state and local governments have suffered tremendous losses due to the ongoing pandemic.  Like other states, the challenges facing Louisiana will be exacerbated as this public health emergency continues if no additional aid from the federal level is provided.  The devastating impacts deserve immediate attention, and I am grateful to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for including direct relief to states and local governments in this legislation.  It is critical and will ensure that we will have adequate resources to enable our first responders and other essential public servants who are on the frontlines the ability to continue to deliver critical services for the health and safety of our citizens.  There is no time to waste, and I urge Congress to act boldly and swiftly.”


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy:  “The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as usual in New Jersey, but it is our frontline workers that have all-too-often faced an outsized burden.  This action by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform is a major step toward ensuring security for our educators, police, firefighters, paramedics, and others who have faced the pandemic head-on.  This legislation will allow us to help as many New Jersey residents as possible and distribute aid where most needed.  I thank Chairwoman Maloney for her work in drafting this language and look forward to continued support from our federal partners.”


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:  “I believe the COVID relief bill that you will pass shortly is paramount to this state and nation's recovery.  The politics and incompetence of the past federal administration has brought the nation to the brink.  The COVID relief package must reverse the damage and right the ship.”


North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper:  “Aid to state and local governments is vital as we continue to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic and recover from the economic havoc it has wrought.  State and local governments must balance our budgets while still meeting the crushing needs of our residents during this challenging time.”


Oregon Governor Kate Brown:  “Following nine consecutive years of budget growth, states saw revenue fall in fiscal 2020, and greater declines are expected in fiscal 2021.  Many states have tried to hold off on making budget cuts as long possible, but with balanced budget requirements, states will inevitably have to make difficult budget decisions without substantial additional aid.  I want to be clear.  This is not about bailing out mismanaged states, and it is not a red state-blue state problem. The coronavirus outbreak has affected the economy of virtually every state.  Additional funding will ensure we can continue to provide vital services, keep frontline public workers like teachers and firefighters on the job, and avoid a weak recovery.” 


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf:  “Pennsylvania, like states across the country, is facing a large budget deficit due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will face significant challenges as we continue to deal with pandemic.  Providing assistance to state and local governments will allow us protect crucial services along with expanding workforce education and training programs to provide a bridge to recovery from those forced out of work.  It is our duty to help Pennsylvanians get back to work and providing them relief from the financial hardships of this pandemic.  I strongly support this legislation and urge Congress to include it in the reconciliation package and quickly pass it.” 


Washington Governor Jay Inslee:  “I applaud the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for moving swiftly to include robust, flexible direct aid to state, local, and tribal governments in COVID-19 relief legislation.  The challenges posed to our state and our local communities by COVID-19 are grave, and the relief provided by last December’s coronavirus package is only a down payment on what's needed to meet them.  The aid being advanced by the committee will help states like ours provide additional badly needed aid for workers, families, businesses, and public health heroes, as well as provide the foundation for a recovery that helps all Washingtonians.”


Rosebud Sioux Tribe President Rodney M. Bordeaux:  “We are aware of the bi-partisan debate, and we wanted to let you know that here on the ground, we need immediate help.  Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic is the moral equivalent of war, and America is approaching 500,000 deaths, more than World War II.”


The American Indian and Alaska Native organizations serving all 57 federally recognized Tribal Nations:  “As the urgency, infection rate, and death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, it is clear that Indian Country needs significantly more resources to protect and preserve human life and address the grave economic impacts resulting from the closure of government operations and tribal enterprises.  AI/AN communities are disproportionately impacted by the health conditions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes increase risk for more severe COVID-19 illness, including respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and other health conditions.  We support the Administration’s inclusions of tribal relief within the proposed COVID-19 Rescue Plan and request the following relief be incorporated into the next legislative package.”



117th Congress