VIDEO RELEASE: Senator Carper Highlights Urgent Need for State and Local Government Relief at Finance Subcommittee Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and former Governor of Delaware, highlighted the urgent need to give state and local governments the resources that they require to address the pandemic’s health and economic impacts during a Finance Subcommittee hearing entitled, “The Fiscal Outlook.” At the same hearing, Senator Carper urged passage of his legislation to reduce the number of improper payments made by the federal government.
“Our state and local governments are one area that continue to be under enormous and unprecedented strain,” said Senator Carper. “According to the Department of Labor, state and local governments lost 180,000 jobs in September alone. And without additional federal support, many more jobs are going to be lost.
“This means fewer frontline workers like firefighters, EMS workers and police as the pandemic continues to sweep through our communities, and fewer teachers, bus drivers, school nurses, and janitors as schools try to re-open safely. In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed what former governors like myself and Senator Hassan, as well as Chairman Cassidy, already know – that state and local government aid is one of the most effective means of economic stimulus,” concluded Senator Carper.
Senator Carper questioned witness Dr. Phillip Swagel, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, on why funding to state and local governments produces a positive impact on economic recovery. Dr. Swagel replied, “Our analysis of assistance for state and local governments…especially in the CARES program found that [state and local funding] were spent quickly and therefore had a rapid and large impact. Additionally, the money given to state and local governments reduced the tax increases and other spending cuts that state and local governments would have had to do.”
In August, Senator Carper led seven of his Democratic Senate colleagues in urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Trump Administration to provide state and local governments across the country with much-needed and long overdue funding in the next COVID-19 relief package. Specifically, Senator Carper highlighted the service and job cuts that state and local governments are being forced to make in order to balance their budgets, which will hinder economic recovery for years to come without federal aid.
You can watch Senator Carper’s full exchange here.