Red states and cities across the country are trying to convince congressional Republicans that they should receive funding in the next coronavirus relief package as the 2020 election looms. Last week, House Democrats passed a rescue bill that included $915 billion for states and localities in their $3 trillion rescue bill.
Since the pandemic took hold in the U.S., lobbying registrations for cities have seen a spike.
Omar Franco, Managing Director of Becker’s Washington, D.C office and former chief of staff to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), said that nowadays, all of the firm’s work for cities relates to the coronavirus.
“People forget cities are like businesses like everything else and they need to figure out what’s going on with workers’ compensation, furloughing,” he said. “The other thing is what’s going on for their small businesses. These mom-and-pop shops go to the federal website and don’t know how to navigate it, so they feel much better going to their city and local officials.”
But cities receiving funding from congressional Republicans has been an uphill battle, even when the lawmaker is from the same state. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) has been opposed to Washington coming to the rescue.
Cities with a population of 500,000 or more were granted access funds from the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, while smaller cities had to apply for funding through the county or state.