Long Island Lawmakers Push Congress For COVID Relief Package

Sophia Hall
September 10, 2020 - 7:37 pm

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    MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Long Island lawmakers on Thursday continued to push the federal government for a relief package to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said she is pleading for the Senate to pass a COVID-19 relief bill, as local governments are struggling desperately. She says schools, fire departments and even garbage service will suffer without federal aid.

    “Four months of uncertainty is way too long – for us, for the school districts, for the state and for the counties, who I will argue really were on the frontlines,” she said.  

    Congresswoman Kathleen Rice says now is not the time to refuse aid to local and state governments. 

    “Right now, in the middle of the pandemic, and don't kid yourself, we're still in the middle of it. Now is not the time to cut off the spigot of money, now is the time when the federal government has to inject money into the economy,” Rice said. “We saw it work with the enhanced unemployment benefits that the federal government gave to individuals. Guess what? They didn't put it in the bank in their savings accounts, they actually spent it, they put it back into the economy.”

    She said the federal stimulus helped keep the U.S. economy from sinking into a “full-blown depression.”

    RELATED: MTA Looks For New Plan To Fill Budget Gap Without Federal Aid

    Congressman Tom Suozzi agrees, saying the longer federal lawmakers wait to help, the worse the economic situation will get.

    “Now, the schools are saying, ‘We’re missing 20% of our state aid.’ That’s a humongous hit for all of us,” he said.

    The Long Island lawmakers called for the aid on the same day Senate Democrats blocked a scaled-back GOP bill that focused on schools, jobless benefits and help for small businesses.

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