WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) today welcomed the passage of the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds legislation, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, by the U.S. Senate. The bill, which now heads back to the U.S. House of Representatives for final consideration, includes $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, as well as other crucial investments in local communities.
NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase issued the following statement:
We applaud the House and now the Senate for passing the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds. This bill recognizes counties’ vast responsibilities to care for our most vulnerable residents – our sick, unemployed, elderly and youth.
“For too long, the pressing challenges and needs facing our counties have outstripped our depleted local resources. The passage of this bill affirms a strong federal-state-local partnership, an investment in counties on the front lines and a commitment to defeating this pandemic together.
“While counties face record demand for essential services, we have shed jobs at rates far outpacing the rest of the economy. Even as the nation’s economy inches toward recovery, one in every 10 jobs yet to be recovered is from our local governments.
“The American Rescue Plan advances us on the road to recovery, honors our frontline heroes, and equips us to help end the pandemic and drive economic recovery.
“With the critical aid in this bill, we will now be able to strengthen our communities by investing in small businesses and nonprofits, vaccine distribution, public health and safety, human services, especially for those suffering from domestic violence, mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and much-needed infrastructure, including broadband.
“We look forward to the final passage in the House and the President signing the bill into law. We thank Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and President Biden for their leadership in support of counties. We are poised to move forward and ultimately end this devastating pandemic together.”