Georgia mayors call for Congress to pass COVID-19 stimulus bill

Some metro Atlanta city leaders have called on federal lawmakers to pass President Joe Biden's COVID-19 stimulus bill.

Mayors representing four Georgia cities held a news conference today to urge the Senate to take quick action. They contend the federal funds would provide much-needed relief on the local level.

"All these mayors here today, can tell you about the day COVID-19 hit, and we had to go in our pockets to fund things to get our people through before there was any money coming down from the federal government," said South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards.

Edwards and other city leaders said they are doing everything they can to help their constituents during the pandemic but add a crisis of this magnitude requires federal lawmakers to take quick action.

"We have a pandemic, we have problems, we know what we can do with it, we have a bill to do that," said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst.

Congress passed two COVID-19 relief bills last year to help local municipalities during the pandemic.

"Many of them have had to reduce or cut services, you had cities, communities laying off employees, struggling to address food insecurity challenges," said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr.

With that federal funding about to end, the mayors of Augusta, Brookhaven, South Fulton, and Union City held a news conference Wednesday to urge the Senate to pass President Biden's American Rescue Plan.

"Georgia's 159 counties are in line to split up somewhere in the line of $3.6 billion," moderator Joe Binns.

The local leaders called upon Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to work together to pass the legislation, that will give their constituents much-needed relief.

"If our federal leaders are committed, totally committed to this, in easing the economic health burdens weighing on all of the American people they need to get out from the halls of the Capitol and face the realities that we are seeing as mayors each and every day," said Union City Mayor Vince Williams.

They call on lawmakers to put politics aside for the good of the American people.

"Cities have always been on the frontlines of any major issue.  We are also non-partisan. A lot of things we do, I say all the time.  It's not a Republican pothole, it's not a Democratic pothole, it's just a pothole and we've got to fix it," said Mayor Ernst.

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