April 26 (UPI) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said that Congress will provide coronavirus funding for state and local governments in a forthcoming stimulus bill.
Pelosi, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, responded to criticism from state and local leaders including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who called on such funding to be included in previous legislation, including the fourth COVID-19 relief bill signed on Friday.
“Just calm down,” she said. “We will have state and local and we will have it in a very significant way.”
She also encouraged state and local to continue being vocal about their need for federal aid.
“The governors are impatient. I’m a big fan of Gov. Cuomo, my own governor, Gavin Newsom, has been so spectacular, my mayor … State and local have done their jobs magnificently. They should be impatient, their impatience will help us get an even bigger number,” said Pelosi.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday opposed providing funding for state and local government, instead suggesting that they apply for bankruptcy.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday he was prepared to provide funding to local governments if Congress can reach an agreement.
“If we need to spend more money we will and we’ll only do it with bipartisan support,” he said.
Mnuchin also commented on how long he expects the new tranch of $310 billion added to the paycheck protection in the package signed Friday will last.
“I actually hope we run out of money quickly so we get the money into the workers’ pockets,” he said.
The first round of funding was exhausted quickly and several large companies including Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack were awarded the loans meant for small businesses before returining the loans.
Mnuchin said that the administration would work to ensure that this round of funding would be “distributed fairly.”
“I think you’re going to see this move in the right direction and I think you’re also going to see the average loan size go down significantly,” he said.