Dear California City Leaders,
Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, the American Rescue Plan Act
, which includes $65 billion in direct and flexible funding for cities of all sizes, is expected to be on the floor of the U.S. Senate as soon as this evening with final action expected within the week. We are calling on the Senate to waste no time in passing this bill.
Getting this bill through the Senate this week moves us one step closer to getting cities direct and flexible funding to offset the devastating budget shortfalls caused by the shutdown of local economies since the pandemic began nearly a year ago. The emergency relief package also includes transportation, housing, and FEMA assistance that is critical for communities across the country to recover from the pandemic.
Thank you to all the city officials who joined Cal Cities in urging congressional leadership
to take swift and urgent action on this legislation. Our message was amplified in a coalition letter
to the U.S. Senate signed by Cal Cities and more than 400 organizations from across the country earlier this week.
The pandemic is not over, and our cities have been waiting for months to receive meaningful aid from the federal government. This relief package is not a bailout. It’s an emergency lifeline so local governments can delay and ultimately avoid making more cuts to city services and jobs, and cancelling capital projects that will further delay economic recovery.
It’s essential that the Senate pass this package as soon as possible. While Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla have expressed support for the relief package, they still need to hear from you about how COVID-19 has impacted local budgets and services and your need for these resources in the communities you both serve.
Here’s how you can take action today:
Carolyn M. Coleman
Executive Director and CEO
League of California Cities