House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said people clamoring for additional direct funding for states in federal rescue legislation should “just calm down” and vowed that Democrats will secure the money in later rounds of legislating in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Just calm down,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We will have state and local, and we will have it in a very significant way.”
The speaker’s comment came after a clip of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran in which the governor said he would have insisted that funding for states be included in the legislation.
She complimented governors like Mr. Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and said state and local governments have done their jobs “magnificently.”
“They should be impatient - their impatience should help us get an even bigger number,” she said. “As I say to members, judge it for what it does - don’t criticize it for what it doesn’t because we have a plan for that.”
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Sunday left open the possibility that additional funding for states and localities could be part of the next package.
“This will be something that both the Senate and the House debate,” Mr. Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is something we’ll consider, but our focus right now is really on execution.”
Congress did include about $150 billion for states and localities in earlier legislation, but that money had to be for expenditures directly tied to the outbreak. The Democrats’ demands for more state money was left out of the nearly $500 billion rescue package that passed Congress last week.
The National Governors Association, which Mr. Hogan chairs, has called for an additional $500 billion for states and territories, whose budgets are being ravaged by the virus.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans aren’t going to write a blank check to states that might have been struggling as a result of their own policies before the virus really took hold.