Show an ad over header. AMP

State and city shares of the COVID relief law could spark infighting

Data: House Appropriations Committee; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: House Appropriations Committee; Chart: Axios Visuals

The COVID-19 relief law won't just inject $1.9 trillion into the U.S. economy — it gives states and cities a cash windfall that could trigger monetary melees.

Why it matters: From more than $42 billion for California to $1.36 billion for several states, governors and state legislators now have a pot of money to split. The decisions could get sticky in states with leaders from different parties.

  • "Each state will have its own priorities and its own debates about what the priorities should be," said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). "I just don't like governors playing shell games with federal money, especially folks like (Republican Texas Gov.) Greg Abbott, that don't put up any state money on these things."
  • Frank Cownie, mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, told Axios' Jason Clayworth that city officials remain uncertain about how the money can be spent — but have lots of ideas.
  • “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use it at the city’s discretion to fix up streets, bridges, sewers, parks, sidewalks and all the stuff we had to cut back on this last year?” Cownie said.

Between the lines: The direct aid is being dispensed based on a formula in the American Rescue Plan allocating it not simply by population but by the number of unemployed people at the end of 2020.

  • The payout is intended to replenish coffers depleted by unexpected spending associated with the coronavirus. At the same time, state and local governments have seen tax revenue plummet from business closures and reduced consumer spending.
  • "We're able to do the spending that they can't do. They have to balance their budgets, and we can do deficit spending," said Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.). "This is to get through it, quickly, so we can focus on our recovery."
  • Her state, led by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, will receive $8.1 billion under the law. Baker will work with a Democratic House and Senate to dispense it.

While Wyoming will receive the largest share per resident — $2,350 — its lone House member, Rep. Liz Cheney, joined all her fellow Republicans in voting against the law.

  • "The people of Wyoming do not want to be in a position where our taxpayers are having to bail out governments, in states like California and New York, that have not conducted themselves in a responsible manner," Cheney told Axios.
  • "I think that, from an economic perspective, the damage that this massive new spending is likely to do is something that's going to be significant and with us for a long time, and is probably going to make it harder — not easier — for us to recover from the impact of COVID."

The bottom line: Some small- and medium-sized cities found themselves left out of previous stimulus rounds.

Go deeper: A spreadsheet with all the breakdowns

Super League faces collapse after all 6 English soccer teams quit elite contest

The European Super League announced in a statement Tuesday night it's considering its future and "proposing a new competition" after all six English clubs pulled out of the breakaway tournament.

Why it matters: The announcement that12 of soccer's richest clubs' from England, Spain and Italy would start a new league was met with backlash from fans, soccer stars and politicians. The British government had threatened to pass legislation to stop it from going ahead.

Keep reading... Show less

Corporate America begins to see fallout after wading into politics

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.

Keep reading... Show less

Church shelters call out U.S. for expelling migrants when they have capacity

Despite the separation between church and state, the federal government depends upon religious shelters to help it cope with migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The network supports the U.S. in times of crisis, but now some shelter leaders are complaining about expelling families to Mexico when they have capacity — and feel a higher calling — to accommodate them.

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd is the rare officer conviction

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was shown kneeling on George Floyd's neck last year in a video that shook the nation, was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Eight years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officersto face legal consequences or jail time over the deaths of Black people.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as Justice Department's deputy attorney general

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CST.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

Keep reading... Show less

"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family": Nation reacts to Chauvin verdict

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guiltyverdict after about 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying...

Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Keep reading... Show less

Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Why it matters: This rare conviction of a police officer may come to be seen as a defining moment in America's collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories