Roundup: Democratic Governors Blast Lack of State Aid In Senate Republicans’ COVID-19 Relief Bill

Senate Republicans laid out a proposal for the next COVID-19 stimulus package that seeks to slash benefits for unemployed Americans and doesn’t include substantial aid to states and localities.

Democratic governors across the country have pushed back on Republicans’ attempts to cut support for unemployed Americans and leave states in the lurch:

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont: “[After the last recession] we ended up having to cut personnel, cut nurses, cut teachers, cut frontline workers, and potentially raise taxes. That would be the worst thing in the world for this economy to get going. So pass the HEROES Act and do it properly.”

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero: “Two hundred dollars a week is $800 a month. It’s $800 more than what one would have if there was no FPUC. People might think that that’s not very much. I think it’s not enough either.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige: “I’m just concerned that they’re not going to provide additional funds, and that the CARES Act funds are the only funds we’re going to get. […] That really would not be a good place for the state of Hawaii, for sure.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: “[The Republican plan] does not accomplish the goal of helping states. […] I implore everyone in Washington, D.C., to stop the partisanship and get something done.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown: “This pandemic has had a devastating financial impact on so many Oregonians. Congress needs to step up and extend extra $600/week provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which ended yesterday. This money has been so important to help people pay bills.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper: It’s not safe for some people to go back to work and many don’t have jobs to return to yet. If federal unemployment benefits are cut off at the end of this week, it will hurt thousands of North Carolina families as well as our local economies.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: “It’s completely irresponsible. I don’t know what country they’re looking at frankly. […] Our expenses are skyrocketing, for obvious reasons, to deal with this pandemic, to deal with unemployed folks, to deal with small businesses that have been crushed — our revenues have fallen off the table. The one smart thing we could do as a country right now is to inject a lot of cash into states to keep frontline workers employed at the very moment we may need them the most.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham: “More than 175,000 New Mexicans have benefited from the $600 boost throughout the pandemic. It’s a literal lifeline. Parents, workers, our neighbors and our friends all across our state have come to rely upon this to get by every day, every week of this crisis. Congressional Republicans want to take that money out of their pockets, water down essential benefits, provide even less to New Mexicans who need every ounce of assistance they can get during this public health and economic emergency. It represents an unconscionable step backward in our fight to both provide help to affected workers and to help sustain our economy. The proposal as it stands is unworkable and would lead to delays and confusion on behalf of the public, in addition to lacking any additional funding for states dealing with untold revenue losses.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “If Washington doesn’t provide state and local aid, there will be drastic budget cuts. We have about a $14 billion loss of revenue. We have about a $5 billion cost of this COVID virus. I’m calling on Republican lawmakers in this state to stand united with New York. It’s time to put your politics aside, stand up and call on your colleagues to do the right thing. You were elected to represent the people of this state, not the Republican Party. Fight for New Yorkers as loudly as you play politics for your party.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf: “There are just too many jobs that aren’t paying enough. And maybe when we started hearing complaints from some folks that six hundred dollars a week was actually encouraging people to stay on unemployment compensation and not go back to work, that should have sent a signal, a message, that maybe we ought to pay more. […] [The $200-per-week supplement] is better than nothing. But in my opinion it’s not enough.”