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Congress needs to pass pandemic support for state and local governments, Gov. Whitmer says

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Posted at 8:51 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 08:51:26-05

(WXYZ) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Congress needs to work together to pass pandemic support for state and local governments.

RELATED: Congress approves relief package with stimulus checks, bill moves to President Trump

The U.S. House and Senate passed a bipartisan relief package that provides support for families, frontline workers and small businesses.

The package does not include funding for state and local governments.

“I am glad that Congress has passed legislation that includes stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, rental and eviction relief, money for schools, and small business loans. This support will help so many Michiganders who have borne the brunt of the pandemic at an individual level, including small business owners who are worried about how they’ll make it through the winter, people who have lost work as a result of the pandemic, and more. I’m glad Congress was able to work together to get this done, but there is more work to do," Whitmer said in a press release.

Both chambers of Congress voted on Monday on a long-awaited COVID-19 relief package. A deal was reached among Congressional leaders Sunday evening, who worked through the weekend to smooth over differences, after months of tense negotiations.

The vote passed the House by a 359-53 margin. Several hours later, the measure was approved by the US Senate by a 91-7 margin.

“Michigan and states across the country need additional aid to state and local governments. For months, bipartisan governors across the country have been urging Congress to provide federal funding to states to fund crucial services like police and fire, emergency responders, Medicaid, higher education, and more. These services could face cuts without help from the federal government," Whitmer said.

“This cannot be the last relief bill we see come out of Washington. This virus will not go away at the start of the new administration. Like President-elect Biden has said, this relief bill will be a down payment. It does not mean that Washington’s work is done. I will continue to hold our leaders in Washington accountable as we continue working to distribute a safe and effective vaccine, grow our economy, and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all.”

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