Uncertainty for Biden’s Covid plan after spending bill aid cut
“The funding deal on the table was really focused on buying products – tests, vaccines and treatments – which are essential, but did not include resources to educate and ask consumers to reach those who need it,” she said. “We hope negotiators can come back to the table to find a way forward to fund the full spectrum of Covid-19 response needs.”
Some governors, unhappy that Congress planned to withdraw some of their pandemic response money from last year’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, were pleased with Wednesday’s developments. Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, president of the National Governors Association, said he was “very pleased” that the coronavirus supplement was removed from the bill.
Many states already had plans in place to spend the stimulus money that Congress wanted to divert, he said.
“Arkansas doesn’t need additional Covid funds,” Hutchinson said. “But the last thing we need is to pull out the extra funds for broadband and other infrastructure needs.”
Mr. Hutchinson, a Republican, and Governor Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat and vice president of the National Governors Association, lobbied lawmakers to preserve state and local government funding and urged them to “negotiate in good faith” in a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday.
Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin, a Democrat, also sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday condemning the plan, which he said would cost his state about $225 million.
Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers, said the initial spending plan could have reduced aid to 30 states that had not yet received their full share of the money from relaunch. Under the plan, states would have received at least 91% of the $195 billion in total funding they expected.
And while Ms. Pelosi said earlier Wednesday that localities would receive “no cuts,” local leaders had also expressed dismay at the proposal to cut state funding, which they said would have ultimately affected communities. towns and villages.
Emily Cochrane and Benjamin Müller contributed report.