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October 28, 2021

Congresswoman Bourdeaux Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Allow State & Local COVID-19 Funding Flexibility

Washington, D.C.Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), joined by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and 30 of their colleagues, introduced the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, which make local infrastructure investment projects eligible for payment with unspent COVID-19 relief funding. This legislation recently passed the U.S. Senate unanimously.

“As we look towards the end of the pandemic, we must ensure our communities have a strong start on the path to recovery,” said Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux. “This legislation gives states and local governments the flexibility they need to use federally administered COVID-19 relief funding to meet their unique transportation and infrastructure needs. I urge the House to take up the Senate-passed legislation and give our local governments the flexibility they need to thrive.”

“State governments need flexibility, and this bill is good policy,” said Johnson. “The CARES Act restricted local governments from utilizing relief dollars on certain critical infrastructure projects and the American Rescue Plan prohibits states from returning unused dollars. These are two areas that need to be improved and this bill accomplishes that goal. I’m grateful to Senator Cornyn for his leadership on the Senate companion.”

Background: Additionally, the bill permits eligible governments to spend the greater of $10 million or 30% of their total fiscal relief funding for categories like the: National Highway Performance Program, Tribal Transportation Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, and the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Under the American Rescue Plan Act and the original CARES Act relief package, Congress provided some flexibility for how COVID funds could be spent, but most funds were not able to be used for infrastructure projects. This bill gives state and local officials additional flexibility and time to responsibly spend remaining COVID-19 relief dollars. South Dakota has more than $375 million in unused relief funds.

This legislation is cosponsored evenly by 15 Democrats and 15 Republicans. Cosponsors include, Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA-01), Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), Rick Allen (R-GA-12), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), Randy K. Weber (R-TX-14), Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Steven Palazzo (R-MS-04), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02), Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25), Dan Meuser (R-PA-09), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), Carlos A. Gimenez (R-FL-26), Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19), David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV-01), Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA-08), Peter Meijer (R-MI-03), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Jerry Carl (R-AL-01), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Rick Crawford (R-AR-01), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), William Timmons (R-SC-04), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), Don Young (R-AK), and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01).

You can read the bill here or the one-pager here.

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia, and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, and economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.