State lawmakers provide virus aid due to federal delays
'If the federal government doesn’t stand up and step in, we’re in a very bad situation,' said Democratic House Majority Leader Greg Harris
With the lack of action from Washington D.C., state lawmakers are under pressure to provide coronavirus pandemic relief.
The Associated Press reported that number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States reached 205,557 on Friday, according to John Hopkins University. It has exceeded a previous daily high of 196,000 on November 20.
The Associated Press also reported that elected officials are spending some of the remaining money from the first federal relief package that was passed around in the spring as the the end of the year approaches.
The relief helps small-businesses, unemployed people, renters, and those whose livelihoods were greatly impacted by the pandemic.
Democrats have been vocal with their criticism of President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Senate for their inaction, and are asking for Trump and Congress to extend the current Dec. 30 deadline for virus relief money from the CARES Act.
New Mexico’s legislature recently passed a bipartisan relief bill to provide a $1,200 check to unemployed workers and up to $50,000 to aid businesses in need.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico said her state had to step up to help residents “who have real issues about keeping food on their table, a roof over their head.”
Grisham also criticized Trump for the lack of assistance as states are battling to help businesses, residents, school systems, and states being forced to pick up the slack.
“While the United States of America is on fire, the Trump administration has left states to fight this virus on their own,” she said. “It is clear no help is coming — not from this president, not from this administration. As we have done every day this year, New Mexico will step up.”
Democratic House Majority Leader Greg Harris said this emergency is negatively impacting the country and will continue to be detrimental.
“If the federal government doesn’t stand up and step in, we’re in a very bad situation — for our schools, colleges and universities, health care programs, child care, senior services,” Harris said. “This isn’t like all the blue states are hurting and all the red states are humming along. Everybody’s in bad shape.”
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