News

Join the Campaign

8.14.20

Senate Adjourns For Weeks As “State & Local Budget Pain Looms,”; Cal Calls Out Tillis’ Inaction: “This Is Not The Answer North Carolinians Need”

The morning after the Senate announced that they would adjourn until September 8 without passing additional coronavirus relief, the New York Times reports that “states could face a gap of at least $555 billion through the 2022 fiscal year” if the federal government does not provide direct relief to relieve budget shortfalls. 

State and local governments are facing massive budget shortfalls as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the economy, forcing them to pay large unexpected health costs while their tax revenue plummets. Even as “economists warn that the long-term risk coming from struggling states could prove even more damaging this time than the recession of 2007-9,” Senator Tillis and Mitch McConnell have refused to take action to support them. Without support, local governments are struggling to continue to provide necessary public services and keep critical workers on the payroll.

Yesterday, in response to the president’s executive orders that would tap funds from disaster relief, Cal Cunningham met with coastal leaders about what they are seeing in their towns without the help from the federal government. In an interview with FOX46, he said of his conversation with Shallotte Mayor Walter Eccard: “He’s having a hard time, just as a lot of local governments are having a hard time, keeping first responders on the payroll making sure that the trash trucks roll.”

Cal continues to make relief for North Carolina communities a key priority for the next COVID-19 aid package, in addition to extending enhanced unemployment benefits, providing resources for schools, and passing a Medicaid expansion incentive. He has called on Senator Tillis to take immediate action: “This is not the answer that North Carolinians need. We need Congress to act, and quite disappointingly the U.S. Senate has just packed up shop, and is not planning to come back until September 8. Thom Tillis said he was not going to leave Washington until a new relief package was done. That’s just what he’s done. He’s come home.”


New York Times: State and Local Budget Pain Looms Over Economy’s Future

By Jeanna Smialek, Alan Rappeport and Emily Cochrane – Aug. 14, 2020

  • State governments are again experiencing extreme budget problems as they pay out increasing sums to cover unemployment and health costs caused by the coronavirus crisis while revenues from sales taxes and corporate and personal income tax payments plummet. States could face a gap of at least $555 billion through the 2022 fiscal year, according to one estimate.
  • Economists warn that the long-term risk coming from struggling states could prove even more damaging this time than the recession of 2007-9 unless Congress steps in. Yet providing more aid to state and local governments has become one of the biggest political battles in the fight over another pandemic rescue package.
  • The Senate formally adjourned on Thursday until early September, all but ending any chance that an agreement could be reached soon. House members had already left Washington.

FOX 46: Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham says federal government ‘fumbled’ with COVID-19 response

By Brien Blakely – Aug. 14, 2020

  • Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham leads incumbent Thom Tillis for US Senate according to recent polls.  Cunningham says the federal response on the Coronavirus from Washington with President Trump and Tillis is fueling his surge in the polls.
  • But, Trump’s executive order takes money out of FEMA’s disaster relief fund. Cunningham says this couldn’t have come at a worse time as North Carolina is in the middle of hurricane season. 
  • “This is not the answer that North Carolinians need, we need Congress to act. Quite disappointingly the US Senate has packed up shop and is not planning to come back until Sept. 8,” Cunningham said.
  • He talked with several mayors from coastal communities Thursday on Zoom and got an earful from local leaders.
  • “Thom Tillis said he was not going to leave Washington until a new relief package is done and that’s just what he’s done, he’s come home.”