Welch Urges House Leadership to Extend Deadline for State and Local Governments to Use CARES Act Funds
WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch on Friday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urging them to immediately extend the deadline for state and local governments to use funds appropriated by the CARES Act. Currently, the state and local relief funds from the CARES Act must be used, or forfeited, by December 30th, making it impossible to complete long-term recovery projects. In the letter, Welch encouraged leadership to consider a new deadline of December 31, 2021 as an immediate step Congress could take to provide critical relief to state and local governments.
“When the CARES Act became law on March 27th, 2020, we had hope that by the end of this year the worst of the pandemic would be behind us,” said Welch in the letter. “It isn’t, unfortunately. And the needs we addressed in the CARES Act continue. By extending the date for use of the authorized funds, all states will have more flexibility and time to use them to meet the impacts of COVID-19. It would be extremely helpful to Vermont, where our Republican governor and Democratic legislature are working together to use those funds to help Vermonters through this crisis.”
In the letter, Welch notes that failing to extend the deadline to use these funds will halt broadband connectivity for more than 1,000 homes across Vermont, force the Vermont State College System to pay for $500,000 worth of testing equipment out of its own pocket and jeopardize safe housing this winter for those who may be homeless.
In addition to these specific programs, Rep. Welch has heard of many more areas that will benefit from extending the CARES Act deadline during more than 100 calls with Vermont organizations and stakeholders across the state since the start of the pandemic.
Full text of the letter is here.