‘We need help’: 100 Texas mayors want Congress to streamline coronavirus relief money for cities


The U.S. Capitol is seen on Feb. 4, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — 100 Texas mayors have sent a letter to the Texas Congressional delegation, asking for a streamlined process to get the next round of coronavirus relief money sent directly to Texas cities.

Cities smaller than 500,000 people have to wait for the federal government to funnel the money through the state and counties to distribute it to cities.

The bipartisan group of mayors from cities large and small, said they want any Texas city to have direct access to the coronavirus relief money.

“It’s small cities, medium sized, large cities, even cities that were over 500,000,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. “Texas is united, and our country is united. Mayors in states all across the country are now working to try to get this federal stimulus, so that the cities can continue to lead in this economic recovery.”

Williams said Texas cities have been on the receiving end of money for emergency and medical services.

“Right now people are losing their jobs, businesses are going out,” Williams said.

The mayors said they’d use the direct money to help rebuild communities financially.

“If we’re able to get the dollars here, it will actually be cheaper than if we’re waiting until later to see how many of our small businesses, in particular, that have gone out of business and more problems that occur that will actually create more of a need for more funds versus now,” Williams said.

“Unfortunately, as the virus surges once again in Texas, more federal assistance will be needed for the state and its cities to weather the unprecedented economic downturn we face,” the mayors wrote. “As such, we want to reiterate our urgent request that you quickly pass an additional measure that includes direct and flexible fiscal assistance to all cities across the nation.”

“We saw in Hurricane Katrina to rebuild the coast,” Williams said. “Well, now we’re trying to rebuild our communities across the state of Texas and across America.”

“We need help,” he said.

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