Attorney General Curtis Hill has joined a coalition of attorneys general urging the U.S. Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding until the end of 2021.
In a letter, the attorneys general advise Congress that such an extension would give states and local communities additional time to utilize precious COVID-relief resources. Several measures that would enact this extension are already pending in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
COVID-19 has negatively impacted nearly every facet of American society. In anticipation of unprecedented costs and economic disruption stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The move provided more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to state and local governments in an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic.
One of the restrictions placed on the funding, however, limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020.
“This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months,” the letter states. “Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond December 30, 2020 — a deadline that now seems unreasonable.”
As the pandemic continues to set record infections, states and local communities will continue to incur COVID-related expenses next year. By extending the deadline, communities nationwide will be able to be more strategic with the use of CARES Act funds, the attorneys general said.