ICYMI: BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS TO “GO BIG” WITH COVID RELIEF GROWS

State and Local Officials, Polls, Economists, Business Leaders Agree It’s Time To Pass American Rescue Plan

Consensus among state and local governments, the American people, top White House economic advisors and business leaders continues to grow in favor of robust public investment. They all agree that Congress must pass the American Rescue Plan, which includes $350 billion in crucial economic relief that will help state and local governments keep essential workers on the job, safely reopen schools, and get more shots in the arms of Americans.

The American Rescue Plan continues to drum up bipartisan support from state and local elected officials who are eager to keep essential workers on the job, reopen schools, and distribute vaccines: 

This week, 17 state treasurers signed a letter urging their Congressional delegations to pass the American Rescue Plan with support for state and local governments.

On a press call hosted by Invest in America Action yesterday, four state treasurers urged Congress to act now.

  • Maine State Treasurer Henry Beck: “It is critical that DC pass another round of relief. But this time, with flexible direct aid.”

  • Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers: “We have spent our CARES money very carefully — but we spent it. There isn’t money sitting there idle. There’s much, much more work that needs to be done.”

  • Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald: “We’re suffering every day. We need this help from the federal government, and then we can start working on things that would really help our state grow.”

  • Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read: Oregon is “going to require federal help with PPE, with testing, and with making sure that the schools can continue to operate safely once they are open.”

The Washington Post: Why some state and local governments are desperate for more stimulus aid

  • “Facing deep budget shortfalls, state and local governments have shed 1.3 million jobs since the pandemic began last year — a loss of more than 1 in 20 government jobs, according to a Washington Post analysis of government data.”

NPR: Why Biden Looks To Mayors To Help Make The Case For More COVID-19 Aid

  • “Biden’s White House has found common cause with Republican mayors and county commissioners, highlighting it to bolster their claim that the COVID-19 proposal is ‘bipartisan,’ even as there’s little sign Republicans in Congress will back the plan.”

The Washington Post: Biden is winning Republican support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Just not in Washington.

  • “But to many Republicans at city halls and statehouses across the country, the relief package looks very different. Instead of the ‘blue-state bailout’ derided by GOP lawmakers, Republican mayors and governors say they see badly needed federal aid to keep police on the beat, to prevent battered Main Street businesses from going under and to help care for the growing ranks of the homeless and the hungry.” 

Americans agree that going big with far-reaching Covid relief is popular:

Timothy Egan writes in The New York Times: Biden Is Going Big, and Americans Are With Him

  • “But make no mistake: The public is with Biden now. The Covid-19 relief package — with its direct payments to families and aid for businesses, the unemployed and local governments — is backed by nearly 70 percent of Americans, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. In a nation that can’t agree on a simple set of facts, this is staggering.”

Newsweek: Half of Republicans Back Joe Biden’s COVID Relief Plan Because of Stimulus Checks: Poll

  • “A 53 percent majority of Republicans support passing Biden’s entire stimulus plan, with 50 percent citing the direct payments as the most convincing reason to support the plan, according to a survey that Democratic polling organization Navigator Research released on Thursday. […] The Navigator poll found that 73 percent of all Americans support the stimulus package, including 48 percent who ‘strongly’ support it, while only 19 percent oppose the plan.”

Economists agree that going big with COVID relief is the right idea:
White House Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein: White House economist Jared Bernstein says $1.9 trillion package would deal “blow” to COVID

  • “As negotiations continue between the Biden administration and Congress on a COVID-19 relief package that could top $1.9 trillion, White House economist Jared Bernstein argues that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan ‘is calibrated to be of a magnitude to finally deal this COVID-19 virus the blow that hasn’t occurred yet.’” 

The Wall Street Journal: Yellen Defends Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Package

  • “‘We are digging out of a deep hole,’ Ms. Yellen said of the economic slump induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘We think it’s very important to have a big package that addresses the pain this has caused,’ she said.”

Business leaders support going big:

CNBC: Why Walmart’s CEO says Americans urgently need another stimulus check

  • “McMillon met with President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last Tuesday, along with JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Gap CEO Sonia Syngal, Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said he urged help for American families and small businesses during that meeting.”