WASHINGTON – The National Association of Counties (NACo) responded to President Biden’s Joint Address to Congress with the following statement from Executive Director Matthew Chase:
Never before has a strong intergovernmental partnership been more important. As we focus on public health and economic recovery, America’s counties will continue to work with the Biden administration and bipartisan congressional partners to overcome challenges and achieve our common goals. Only together, can we end the coronavirus pandemic, strengthen our economy and improve the lives and livelihoods of our residents.
“Counties are on the front lines of the nation’s coronavirus pandemic response and recovery. With new resources from the American Rescue Plan, we look forward to investing in our communities, including small businesses, 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.
“With our eyes on ending the pandemic, we are also focused on other pressing challenges, including building, maintaining and upgrading major infrastructure – roads, bridges, airports, public transportation, water and sewage, and broadband. We will continue to work with our federal partners to preserve local decision-making, streamline federal regulations and secure direct fiscally responsible investments in infrastructure.
“We urge our federal partners to embrace bipartisanship and focus on solutions that will enhance our resiliency for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration and Congress as we build stronger counties that result in a stronger America.”
Counties invest more than $134 billion annually in building infrastructure and maintaining and operating public works. Counties own and maintain 46 percent of America’s road miles and 38 percent of the nation’s bridges, are involved in 78 percent of public transportation systems and 34 percent of airports, support 960 hospitals, and spend almost $26 billion on correctional facilities and $21.6 billion on sewage and waste management annually.
View NACo’s 2021 federal policy priorities here.Standard