WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) said on Tuesday he’s confident that the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus money coming out of Washington will include aid for local governments.
Because of the economic shutdown created by efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, local governments across the country – including here in New York State – will likely see significant budget deficits during the rest of this year. Local and state leaders are calling on the Federal Government to assist with the financial challenges and most seem on board, including President Donald Trump. But Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said last week that he would rather see local governments declare bankruptcy than adding to an already ever-growing federal debt.
During his conference call with regional media, Reed, who was the past mayor of Corning, NY before being elected to Congress, said he disagree’s with McConnell’s approach.
“I disagree with [bankruptcy] being a tool to deploy because the consequences of doing that would be significantly bad for the nation and for the economy and would disrupt the bonding and municipal borrowing and would set a precedent that we as a nation should not go down,” Reed said.
Reed said that leaders in Congress have already started discussing how a Phase Four stimulus bill would address budget deficits and the local level. He said Congress will likely return to session and finalize the bill between mid May and early June, though he said at this point the exact amount of funding that would be provided hasn’t been determined.