Impacted by the pandemic, the Western States Pact is asking the government in DC for $1 trillion in relief.
The Western States Pact comprises of four states; California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, and Nevada. Like most states in America, the states in the Pact are also reeling thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Revenues in every state are plummeting and giving economic relief has become the most important agenda in Congress. It is natural for the Western States Pact to request federal relief at this hour.
In March, Trump signed the CARES Act that totalled to $2 trillion. It was the highest ever bailout signed into law.
The Western States Pact asking for another $1 trillion in relief comes at a crucial moment. Democrats are expected to unveil their stimulus plan this week. In the plan, the Democrats have apparently added provisions for giving states and cities relief.
Western States Pact Asking for Relief. They May Find Opposition from the GOP
GOP lawmakers are not very open to the idea of additional relief. Senator Rick Scott blocked legislation from a fellow GOP senator giving states more financial flexibility. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while not ruling out further aid, wants to wait and analyse how things unfold on the economic front.
There is some support amongst Senate Republicans for more relief. Senators Romney, Kennedy, and Collins are only a few amongst those who want to give more financial aid to states. The initial Republican line of thinking that only blue states are facing an economic crisis is unravelling. Small governments are facing massive shortages in fund due to a lack of revenue. This is causing there to develop strife on the Republican side.
However, the amount of relief the Pact is asking for would scare away most Republicans. It is also unclear if the President would be on board with such a demand. Kevin Hasset, the White House Economic Advisor, said that there was no pressing need for the fourth phase of economic relief. While President Trump has not been completely against relief, the amount is Western States Pact is asking could be too steep.
Letter to Congressional Leaders
The Western States Pact requested this relief package in a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
In the letter, the states explained they needed the money to make up for their loss in revenues and continue funding essential programs. Furthermore, they also thanked the leadership for its quick action in giving relief to states during this tough time earlier in the letter.
Despite the genuine need for these funds, it looks unlikely that the Pact would actually get this level of relief. Republicans are already against the idea of funding blue states as they believe they’re not fiscally responsible.