While passing a new COVID-19 relief package becomes a top priority for the new administration, 280 mayors across the country, including six from Pennsylvania, have signed a joint letter calling on Congress to pass President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
“On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we urge you to take immediate action on comprehensive coronavirus relief legislation, including providing direct fiscal assistance to all cities, which is long overdue,” written at the beginning of the joint letter, which includes signatures from Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, Easton Mayor Salvatore J. Panto, Jr., Monessen Mayor Matthew Shorraw, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti.
“President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan contains such assistance as part of an aggressive strategy to contain the virus, increase access to life-saving vaccines, and create a foundation for sustainable and inclusive recovery,” the letter continues.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan would provide $350 billion in direct relief to state and local governments. The joint letter from the 280 plus mayors said this relief package would allow cities to “preserve critical public sector jobs and help drive our economic recovery.”
“Providing direct, flexible aid to cities is the most efficient and immediate way to help families and their communities who have been suffering for far too long,” is written in the letter.
The letter also endorses Biden’s proposal for a national vaccination program and the provision of additional resources to cities to boost the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The mayors write that “cities must be central to a deliberate strategy to accelerate vaccinations throughout the country.”