Mayors across U.S. say cities need help from federal government in next relief package

Mayors across U.S. say cities need help from federal government in next relief package

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is among the city leaders across the country who said they need help from Washington, D.C.

Peduto and other mayors in the U.S. laid out their priorities for the next round of coronavirus relief, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have adverse impacts.

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Months of dealing with the coronavirus has led to leaders questioning how to pay for services, and it’s those hits that are getting worse.

Some cities that bank on tourism for funding are projecting to lose tens of millions of dollars this summer as the pandemic lingers on. Airports that bring in city dollars also expect a loss of millions more.

In Washington, lawmakers are considering a new relief bill. But right now, it doesn’t include financial aid for local governments. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it instead focuses on three areas: “getting kids back in school, getting workers back to work and winning the healthcare fight against the virus.”

The White House has said it’s not the federal government’s job to fill the gaps of municipalities. But without it, city administrators said it could lead to layoffs or staff furloughs -- not to mention the impact on services that people rely on every day.

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“We know that we have to pave our streets, fix our sidewalks, trim our trees, make sure the lights are turned on, make sure the gas is flowing -- and ensure that when people call 911, police and fire show up,” said Joe Buscaino, of the National League of Cities.

The current relief bill is a proposal from Republicans. It has a long way to go, first needing support from fellow Republicans and then Democrats will join the negotiations.

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