Press Releases

            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Josh Harder (both D-Calif.) today led a group of their colleagues to send a letter to congressional leadership urging them to include a six-month extension for states and local governments to spend their allocations of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) as provided by the CARES Act in any upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.

            The members wrote, “We believe that a six-month extension of the December 30, 2020 deadline would allow states and local governments to meet the additional challenges anticipated during the next year.  For example, such an extension would help:

  • Allow schools to better close learning gaps, plan for safe school re-openings, and address other barriers and associated costs.
  • Prevent unnecessary layoffs that will slow the economic recovery.  States and localities have already laid off 1.1 million workers, of which half of those are in K-12 education.
  • Provide safe housing for homeless and unstably housed individuals at risk of contracting COVID-19.

            In addition to Feinstein and Harder, the letter was also signed by Representatives Ami Bera, M.D., Grace F. Napolitano, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Barbara Lee, Mark DeSaulnier and Juan Vargas (all D-Calif.).

            The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

September 28, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                          The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker                                                           Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                       U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510                                  Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                    The Honorable Charles E. Schumer

Minority Leader                                              Minority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                       U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510                                  Washington, DC 20510

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leaders McCarthy and Schumer:

            As negotiations continue on the next COVID-19 relief package, we urge you to include language providing a six-month extension to states and local governments to spend their allocations of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) as provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

            As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, causing severe disruptions to state and local governments, including the provision of education, health, and critical social services.  The $150 billion in emergency CRF funding the CARES Act provides was a necessary first step to help offset the impact of COVID-19 on state and local governments.  However, the use of these funds was also restricted, and the various disruptions caused by the pandemic have made it difficult for some jurisdictions to ensure they can meet the December 30, 2020, deadline for expenditure. 

            We believe that a six-month extension of the December 30, 2020 deadline would allow states and local governments to meet the additional challenges anticipated during the next year.  For example, such an extension would help:

  • Allow schools to better close learning gaps, plan for safe school re-openings, and address other barriers and associated costs.
  • Prevent unnecessary layoffs that will slow the economic recovery.  States and localities have already laid off 1.1 million workers, of which half of those are in K-12 education.
  • Provide safe housing for homeless and unstably housed individuals at risk of contracting COVID-19.

            Thank you for your consideration of our request.  We look forward to working with you to ensure that states and local governments have the flexibility they need to best respond to the needs of the communities that they serve.

Sincerely,

 

            Dianne Feinstein                                             Josh Harder

            United States Senator                                     United States Representative

            Ami Bera, M.D.                                              Grace F. Napolitano

            United States Representative                         United States Representative

            Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.                                   Barbara Lee

            United States Representative                         United States Representative

            Mark DeSaulnier                                            Juan Vargas

            United States Representative                         United States Representative 

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