Tuesday, February 24, 2009

U.S. Mayors React to Governors' Rejection of Stimulus Funding

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a letter sent by the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

February 23, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of The United States
The White House

Dear President Obama:


On behalf of The United States Conference of Mayors, we want to thank you for hosting our delegation in the White House on February 20 to discuss implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). America's mayors strongly endorsed passage of this critical legislation, and we are 100 percent committed to helping create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. We agree with you that this massive federal investment must be transparent, maximize innovation, and provide lasting environmental and infrastructure benefits.

Mayors know, better than anyone, that there are families suffering because of the recession in every State of this great Nation. And we know that every city has short-term and longer-term needs that can be addressed by the programs funded under ARRA. That is why we are so concerned to hear that some Governors and some States may choose to reject selected funding provided under the new law.

As a Nation, we cannot allow our citizens and communities to needlessly suffer when assistance is available to help them survive and rebuild in these troubling times. That is why we ask you and your Administration to devise a mechanism that will allow cities and our residents to have full access to all programs funded under ARRA in the event that any State chooses to reject such funding. It is not clear to us that Section 1607 of ARRA - which provides a mechanism for state legislatures to accept federal funding if Governors reject provisions under ARRA - will fully protect our cities if those state legislatures also fail to act quickly or attempt to alter the purpose of the federal statute.

For our Nation to recover from this recession, we need to invest in every child, in every family, and in every city. We cannot allow politics as usual in some State capitals to prevent us from accomplishing the mission you have charged us with.

Please contact CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran or Chief of Staff Ed Somers to further discuss this matter.


Manuel A. (Manny) Diaz
Mayor of Miami

Tom Cochran
CEO and Executive Director

Cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader

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