Urban states come out ahead, rural states get less in Biden’s covid-19 relief bill
Reuters – The $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package now making its way through the U.S. Congress would provide $350 billion to help pandemic-hit state and local governments balance their budgets, more than twice the amount lawmakers approved last year.
But not every state comes out ahead: urban, Democratic-led states like Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts that took drastic steps to stop the coronavirus’ spread would get about three times as much money per person as they did in the package passed at the beginning of the health crisis in March.
Rural, Republican-led states including Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota that did less would see less cash.
That’s because Congress is giving greater weight to poverty and unemployment this time as it considers how to distribute money to keep police, firefighters and other public employees on the job during a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.
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It also reflects the fact that Democrats who control both chambers of Congress drafted the package for their fellow Democrat President Joe Biden without Republican input.
Under the new bill, named the American Rescue Plan, 61% of the aid would end up in states that voted for Biden in November, up from 56% in the bipartisan CARES Act passed last March.
The new bill is expected to pass, even if no Republicans vote for it.
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