Thompson, Fitzpatrick request deadline extension for spending Coronavirus Relief Funds
U.S. Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) joined a bipartisan Pennsylvania contingent in seeking a deadline extension for states and localities to spend Coronavirus Relief Funds authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“As we continue to address challenges associated with COVID-19, it has become clear that additional flexibility will be required to ensure that CARES Act funding is appropriately utilized in a manner consistent with the intent of the law,” Rep. Thompson, Rep. Fitzpatrick, and their colleagues wrote in an Aug. 10 letter sent to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Specifically, the lawmakers cited a recent report published by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of the Inspector General showing that state and local governments have spent less than 25 percent of the CARES Act resources.
The current Dec. 30 deadline for state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to spend these funds “restricts many of these governments from establishing robust plans that would otherwise be responsive to COVID-19 and further the purpose for which Congress created the Coronavirus Relief Fund,” wrote the lawmakers, who were joined in signing the letter by four other members, including U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA).
Two pieces of legislation also have been introduced to address these concerns, according to their letter.
The LOCAL Act, H.R. 7854, which Reps. Thompson and Dean introduced on July 29, would extend the costs-incurred deadline for states and local governments to use their Coronavirus Relief Funds by one year to Dec. 31, 2021, while the Coronavirus Relief Fund Local Government Flexibility Act, H.R. 7631, which Reps. Fitzpatrick and Dean introduced on July 16, would extend the same deadline by three months.
Both bipartisan bills remain under consideration in the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.
“We respectfully request that any further legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic include an extension of the deadline by ideally one year,” wrote Rep. Fitzpatrick, Rep. Thompson, and their colleagues. “We stand ready to work with your offices as this package further develops and look forward to a timely resolution.”