INVEST IN AMERICA WEEKLY ROUNDUP

Invest in America and Invest in America Action continues to advocate for robust economic relief for the American people, emphasizing the need for aid for state and local governments in order to keep essential workers on the job, safely reopen schools, and distribute more Covid vaccines.

This week, Invest in America and Invest in America Action:

  • Launched a new digital ad, Crisis Built America,” highlighting the United States’ long history of recovering from crises with big, bold action and robust public investment.

  • Released a letter signed by 17 state treasurers calling for the passage of the American Rescue Plan, which would deliver $350 billion to state and local governments. Officials across the political spectrum and at every level of government are in support of robust public investment, and consensus only continues to grow.

  • Held a press call with State Treasurers Michael Fitzgerald (IA), Lynn Rogers (KS), Henry Beck (ME), and Tobias Read (OR) to discuss what is at stake for their home states as they continue to wait for additional relief from the federal government, including money to service cities and municipalities, safely reopen schools, and supporting small businesses.

  • Called for major public investment and relief after another 861,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last week’s jobless claims have once again eclipsed the record highs from the Great Recession. Expanded unemployment insurance is set to expire in less than one month, leaving millions in the lurch.

  • Ahead of President Biden’s visits to Wisconsin and Michigancalled attention to what residents of both states stand to lose without the American Rescue Plan.

  • Emphasized the need for clean energy investment in response to Texas’ devastating power outages to push back on right-wing misinformation. A Republican-led report from 2011 shows that problems with coal and natural gas plants are the culprit, not clean energy — and that this has been known for nearly a decade.

  • Uplifted growing consensus among state and local governments, the American people, top White House economic advisors, and business leaders from both political parties who agree that we must go big with Covid relief.

INVEST IN AMERICA ACTION’S WORK IN THE NEWS: 

Business Insider: 17 state treasurers call on Congress to approve stimulus with $350 billion in state and local aid
Every elected Democratic state treasurer is calling on Congress to approve the American Rescue Plan, including the provision with $350 billion in state and local aid.

The 17 treasurers signed on to a letter organized by Invest in America Action calling for the necessity of that full relief. States received $150 billion of additional relief funding from Congress in last March’s CARES Act; now, nearly a year later, state treasurers from New Hampshire to Vermont say more is needed.

State and local government employment has lost 1.4 million jobs during the pandemic. The letter from the treasurers also notes how shortfalls have impacted states’ vaccinations efforts, leading to them “lacking the resources it will take to get the shots in people’s arms needed to control the pandemic.”

Politico: Democrats shift Congress into top speed on Covid aid, but it may still be too slow for many
Democratic leaders are racing to get President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid plan through Congress, fulfilling one of his biggest early promises. But even if they hit their ambitious targets, major parts of the bill may already be too slow for many Americans walloped by the virus…

At the state level, officials are already running out of cash from the previous stimulus.

“We’ve already had cities, counties, municipalities cutting staff to pay for Covid expenses,” Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers said Thursday during a call hosted by the advocacy group Invest in America Action.

Quad-City Times: Iowa Capitol Digest
MORE, PLEASE: State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald joined colleagues to call on Congress to deliver $350 billion in aid for state and local governments to keep essential workers on the job, support vaccination efforts, and safely reopen schools.

“We’re suffering every day. We need this help from the federal government, and then we can start working on things that would really help our state grow,” Fitzgerald said on a call with state treasurers from Kansas, Oregon and Maine.

They were among 17 Democratic state treasurers who signed a letter seeking support to offset COVID-19-related revenue losses they said have resulted in government employees being laid off.

“We need the help to help our citizens get vaccinated,” he said. “We’re 46th in the country in distributing vaccines right here in the heartland. There’s no excuse for that. We’re suffering every day. We need this help from the federal government, and then we can start working on things that would really help our state grow.”

According to the Legislative Services Agency, Iowa has received COVID-19-related federal assistance totaling more than $4.5 billion — an amount equal to about 60 percent of the state general fund budget.

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