What we know about the next coronavirus funding package (Vox)

Congress’s next bill will center on funding for desperate state governments.

Getting money to desperate state and local governments is at the top of Democrats’ priorities in the next round of coronavirus aid — though a bill could be weeks away.

House Democrats are preparing legislation for when they return to Capitol Hill, but pushed back their original May 4 return because they aren’t anywhere close to agreeing on a final bill with Republicans and the Trump administration. With nothing to vote on, House leadership concluded there was no point bringing lawmakers back to a region where coronavirus cases are rising.

Democrats are emphasizing aid to struggling state governments, so that states (many of which must balance their budgets, by law) don’t have to slash funds for public services, like police, emergency departments, public school teachers, and other public workers.

“There will not be a bill without state and local,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday of a fourth package, which she estimated will cost billions, “probably a number equivalent to what we have done for small businesses.”

Pelosi may hit a speed bump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell said last week he wants to hit pause on more federal spending, with close to $3 trillion already out the door: “There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”

Although the Senate leader conceded Monday there will “probably” be a bill for states and localities, he has signaled he wants restrictions on some of the money. McConnell also is prioritizing liability protections for businesses and employees in the next package, which Democrats vehemently oppose…

To read the entire article from Vox, click https://www.vox.com/2020/4/29/21227979/what-we-know-next-coronavirus-funding-package-states


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