Press Releases

“I thought our meeting today was very positive as we discussed how we could give state and local governments crucial flexibility to help their communities using money they already have. . . . It’s clear that the president has a deep confidence in the innovation and resilience of the American people, and so do I.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today met with President Donald Trump and Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) to discuss Kennedy’s legislation, the Coronavirus Relief Fund Flexibility for State and Local Government Act.

Kennedy requested the meeting to discuss the bill, which would give state and local governments more flexibility as they use funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also attended the meeting.

“President Trump continues to engage Congress as we look for ways to reopen this economy safely and soon. I certainly can’t speak for the White House, but I thought our meeting today was very positive as we discussed how we could give state and local governments crucial flexibility to help their communities using money they already have,” said Kennedy after the meeting.

“It’s clear that the president has a deep confidence in the innovation and resilience of the American people, and so do I.”

The Coronavirus Relief Fund Flexibility for State and Local Government Act would allow states and local governments to use CARES Act funding for operating expenses unrelated to the coronavirus. This bill does not allow officials to spend this CARES Act money on shoring up their pension funds.

The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund, which has provided payments to state, local and tribal governments to help them respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Every state received at least $1.25 billion from this allocation

Currently, state relief funds expire on Dec. 30, 2020. States are required to send unused funds back to the U.S. Treasury. This legislation would allow state and local governments to continue using these funds until they are expended.