26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Fund shortages for front-line workers

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United States lawmakers are concerned that police, firefighters, and other State Government staff on the front line of battling the Coronavirus pandemic may have to be stood down through lack of funds to keep them employed.

Democrat Representative, Matt Cartwright wants the Federal Government to provide support for these workers in the next Coronavirus aid package.

“Money coming into our States, our counties, our cities is only trickling in right now and it has a big impact on people that all of us rely on,” Mr Cartwright said.

President Donald Trump has said he doesn’t want States with budget problems before the outbreak to benefit from Federal funds now.

However, Representative Susan Wild said the impact of the outbreak should outweigh this concern.

“The funding for their first responders, their emergency personnel, who are so vital to everybody is seriously jeopardised,” Ms Wild said.

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell suggested allowing States to declare bankruptcy, but Democrats argued that wasn’t the help that States needed.

“It suggests that we are not all equal under our system of Government and that just is unacceptable to me,” Ms Wild said.

Meanwhile Representative Rashida Tlaib (pictured) is pushing for the creation of a new Public Service corps to help with aiding the most vulnerable communities across the country.

Ms Tlaib said the organisation would be called the Emergency First Responders Corps, made up of civilian members instead of law enforcement or emergency medical personnel.

Under Ms Tlaib’s plan the corps would be funded by her COVID-19 stimulus Bill proposed earlier this month.

However, the legislation faces an uphill battle as both Mr McConnell and Mr Trump have signaled that they were not interested in more stimulus funding.

Washington, 2 May, 2020

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