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McHenry: The Best Way to Support State and Local Governments Is Through Strong State and Local Economies

Washington, September 10, 2020 -

Today, the House Committee on Financial Services is once again holding a partisan hearing on Speaker Pelosi’s socialist wish list, the so-called HEROES Act. Instead of working toward a bipartisan solution to provide aid to small businesses in need, Committee Democrats continue to push for additional funding for states and localities, despite the fact states have only used 25 percent of the $150 billion in direct aid provided by the bipartisan CARES Act.

Republicans believe any additional support should be based on data and directly related to COVID-19. However, to date, states have yet to identify how they are using Congressionally appropriated funding from CARES and where additional funding may be needed.

Watch Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.

Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I thank the Chairwoman for yielding.

“Well, here we are again. Using Committee time to discuss Democrat priorities that stand no chance of becoming law.

“Once again, we’re exceeding the scope of our Committee’s jurisdiction to provide a mouthpiece to Democrat leadership.

“And, once again, we’ll be no closer to reaching a compromise on additional relief for those most in need by the end of this hearing.

“Back in the spring, Republicans and Democrats did compromise on a deal to address the health and economic crises. The two sides came together to pass four relief bills, including the bipartisan CARES Act.

“We provided about $2.6 trillion in relief funds. Approximately $1 trillion in direct and indirect support to help states and localities.

“That bipartisanship was also reflected in this Committee. We had an understanding that for hearings there would be no more than four witnesses, and do so at the subcommittee level, to keep things manageable and to allow our Members to focus on their constituents back home.

“If I’m counting correctly, today we have five witnesses before us.

“It’s clear that the closer we get to November, the further we get from bipartisanship.

“We’re here talking about Speaker’s Pelosi’s socialist wish list the Democrats passed several months ago and that has no chance of becoming law.

“Democrats are using today’s hearing to claim that states are struggling, but it certainly isn’t due to a lack of funding.

“In fact, of the $150 billion in direct aid provided by the CARES Act, the Congressional Research Service found as of June 30, 2020, states had only used 25 percent of their distribution.

“Republicans believe any additional support should be based on data and directly related to COVID. But, to date, states have yet to identify how they are using their money and where additional funding to address COVID may be needed.

“We should all agree that one of the best ways to support state and local governments during this pandemic is through strong state and local economies and communities.

“The way to create strong economies is by supporting local businesses.

“Thriving businesses generate revenues that contribute to state and local tax bases. Unfortunately, Democrat partisanship prevents small businesses from accessing that support.

“As Federal Reserve Chairman Powell stated in June, ‘A tight job market is probably the best single thing that the Fed can do to support gains by all low- and moderate-income communities, and particularly for minority communities that are heavily representative in those groups. ... Everything we're doing is to try to get the labor market back to where it was in February.’

“We should take that approach. Not wasting Members’ time parading Democrat governors in front of the Committee. There are bigger issues at stake that we should be focused on.

“I yield back.”

Watch the virtual hearing live here.

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