Top US Senate Democrat warns of massive layoffs without state aid
Schumer also called for new oversight hearings on President Donald Trump's coronavirus response when lawmakers return to Washington next week.
April 28, 2020 / 08:24 PM IST
The top Democrat in the US Senate warned on Tuesday that state and local governments will see "massive" layoffs if Congress fails to act soon to provide financial assistance to help them combat the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
"There's going to be massive layoffs at the state and local level unless we get money to them quickly," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told MSNBC in an interview.
Schumer also called for new oversight hearings on President Donald Trump's coronavirus response when lawmakers return to Washington next week. Top administration officials should face "tough question after tough question," he said, on issues ranging from problems with Paycheck Protection Program assistance to small businesses to the status of efforts to provide testing.
Congress has provided $150 billion to state governments facing the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak at a time when they are also facing a decline in tax revenue.
Democrats are pushing for more aid. But Republicans rejected efforts to add the assistance to the last coronavirus bill to pass Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox Radio this week that Congress could approve further funding for states in future legislation but he would also demand liability protection for businesses and healthcare providers.
The National Governors Association has asked for $500 billion, while US city and county groups are seeking $250 billion.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.