Hoeven Urges Treasury Secretary to Provide Flexibility to States in Coronavirus Relief Fund

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today urged U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to provide states with flexibility when implementing the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The fund was authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will provide each state with a minimum of $1.25 billion in funding to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hoeven advanced this effort along with 16 of his fellow senators, led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), in a letter to Mnuchin, outlining the need to cut red tape and ensure state and local governments can use these funds to best address the needs and challenges that their communities are facing.

“Treasury must not create an unnecessary complex burden of compliance that hinders states working with local governments – especially very small communities,” wrote the senators. “An overly narrow definition will create unintended consequences that stymy response at the local level by tying up critical resources needed by state and local governments. This would be a disaster, run counter to the needs of the emergency Congress recognized in passing the CARES Act and have devastating results across the country. We therefore encourage Treasury to focus on the same balance we did in enacting the CARES Act and ensure that emergency supplemental state support for smaller communities is explicitly authorized in any guidance you issue.”

In addition to Hoeven, Murkowski and Barrasso, the following members of the U.S. Senate signed onto the letter: Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). 

The full text of the letter can be found here.