Passage of American Rescue Plan needed
Four hundred mayors across the country signed a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors to congressional leaders Jan. 29, calling for urgent action to pass President Joe Biden’s proposed American Rescue Plan.
Red state governors, like Jim Justice in West Virginia, are singing the same song as blue state governors, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York. Americans agree. Recent polling showed nearly 75 percent of the American people want the proposed American Rescue Act passed, and 62 percent fear that the plan will not be big enough.
The mayors’ letter stated, “American cities and our essential workers have been serving at the front lines of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year. We have been charged with executing herculean public health efforts and an unprecedented emergency response. Despite immense fiscal pressure, your local government partners oversaw those efforts, while trying to maintain essential services and increase our internal capacity to provide support for residents and businesses who have been crippled by a tanking economy.”
The mayors also point out that communities already have suffered from budget cuts, service reductions and the loss of 1 million local government jobs due to the pandemic. Our communities need to maintain services, and our essential workers need relief. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan contains $350 billion for state and local community assistance required to execute the virus containment strategy, quickly get our communities vaccinated and create the base for sustainable and inclusive recovery.
Aid to our states, counties and cities is critical. The people are united in our desire for federal aid directed at maintaining public services to fight the pandemic and safely reopen schools. The partisan divide melts when communities face the need to maintain public services like public safety, health care and sanitation.
While it would be great to have votes from both parties in Congress to pass this plan, the voice of the people is clear-cut and united on this. Action is needed urgently and with the state and local aid intact. Let our senators and congressional representatives hear from you on the issue. And encourage your local township, city and county leadership to join with other local leaders in expressing the urgency and need to pass the American Rescue Plan.