Local Governments Seek $1 TRILLION to Avert Layoffs Due to #COVID19 | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday state and local governments are seeking up to $1 trillion for coronavirus costs, a stunning benchmark for the next aid package that’s certain to run into opposition from Senate Republicans.


Pelosi acknowledged the federal government may not be able to provide that much. But she said a “heroes” fund is needed to prevent layoffs as governors and mayors stare down red ink in their budgets. Many jurisdictions are facing rising costs from the health pandemic and plummeting revenues in the economic shut down. The best way Americans can support local nurses, bus drivers and other front-line community workers, Pelosi said, is to make sure they don’t lose their jobs to budget cuts.


“This is something of the highest priority, it honors our heroes,” Pelosi said.


The $1 trillion request comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shifted his tone suggesting he is “open” to considering additional funds in the next coronavirus relief bill.


But the eye-popping figure would be on top of nearly $3 trillion Congress has already approved over the past month to salvage the economy and confront the health crisis.


McConnell said Thursday on Fox he’s willing to consider money for the states, but isn’t about to send federal dollars to bail out overspending.


“We’re not interested in borrowing money from future generations to send down to states to help them with bad decisions they made in the past unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic,” the GOP leader said.


McConnell insists any fresh funding must be tied to liability reforms to prevent what he calls “an epidemic of lawsuits” against doctors, hospitals and businesses reopening in the pandemic.