DPCC Report: American Families and Communities Will Pay the Price If Republicans Refuse to Support State and Local Services

May 19, 2020

Newly Released DPCC Report is First in a Series Highlighting the Cost of Inaction by Leader McConnell and Republicans

 Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (MI), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), and Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Vice Chair Joe Manchin (WV) today released a report detailing the cost of Republican inaction to critical services that are needed every day to keep people safe, educate our children and maintain our quality of life. Instead of working in a bipartisan way to deliver financial relief to American communities, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested he would rather states go bankrupt. The report can be found here. 

According to a survey of local reports, the DPCC found that the following community services are at risk of being cut across the country:

·        Emergency response, including firefighters and police

·        Education and public libraries

·        Health care and in-home assistance

·        Water and sewer

·        Trash collection

·        Parks, pools, and recreation

“Michigan families and families across the country are in urgent need of help. Yet Mitch McConnell and President Trump feel no sense of urgency. They have abandoned our communities in their greatest time of need. If Republicans fail to support our state and local governments, they are failing our police officers, teachers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and all the truly essential people who keep us safe and keep our communities running. Mitch McConnell’s inaction has consequences. We are losing precious lives, and every part of the economy is being affected. Mitch McConnell may not feel a sense of urgency, but on behalf of the American people, we do,” said Senator Stabenow. 

“Americans now face the greatest health and economic crisis since the Great Depression, and our local governments urgently need greater resources to support the teachers, police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, and other essential workers and services that keep our communities safe and running,” said Leader Schumer. “That Leader McConnell and Republicans could feel ‘no sense of urgency’ to act amid such hardship and uncertainty defies logic and flies in the face of what experts – including Federal Reserve Chairman Powell – have said is likely needed to recover from this global pandemic. Senate Democrats won’t rest until state and local governments have what they need to rebuild. We must act now to save jobs and critical services, and deliver financial relief to our communities, before it’s too late.”

“I continue to hear from West Virginia cities and municipalities about the difficult choices they are on the verge of making. Without federal support they will be forced to cut essential services like trash pickup or emergency responders that are essential to safe communities. I know communities across the country are dealing with these same challenges. Allowing states to go bankrupt ensures services will be cut and individuals will be laid off. This is not an option. West Virginians deserve better and I’ll continue fighting for the relief our communities need,” Senator Manchin said.

Without federal action, state budget shortfalls could total $650 billion over three years – far exceeding the $283 billion states lost in the decade after the Great Recession. This means states and municipalities will be forced to lay off frontline workers and cut spending on health care, education, and public assistance – services our families depend on.

State and local governments cut nearly 1 million jobs in April alone and reduced the salaries of thousands of workers due to budget shortfalls. Democrats are committed to providing states, localities, tribes, and territories with the resources they need to protect their residents and rebuild their economies.