ASA Supports H.R. 5735 State, Local, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act
ASA Supports H.R. 5735 State, Local, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act sponsored by Reps. Johnson (R-SD) and Bourdeaux (D-GA). This legislation is companion to S. 3011, which passed the Senate on unanimous consent on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021. The CARES Act and American Rescue Plan provided state, local, tribal, and territorial governments with direct funding to help bridge the gap between falling revenues and necessary pandemic expenses. For a variety of reasons, many recipients of these funds have been unable to access them or spend them on worthwhile purposes. This bipartisan bill expands the eligible uses of these funds to include infrastructure, disaster relief, housing, community development, and other investments that will have a long-term economic return. It also ensures tribes and territories eligible for assistance are given the time and flexibility to do so. This legislation would:
- Permit eligible government entities to spend the greater of $10 million or 30% of their total fiscal relief funding on infrastructure and other new categories, some of which were created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework;
- Does not increase spending, does not place mandates on state or local governments, and does not score;
- Create a new pathway for well-off entities to return their relief funding for deficit reduction purposes if they wish to do so;
- Include language to ensure spending supplements existing funding obligations instead of supplanting them;
- Require the Treasury and Transportation secretaries to report to Congress on the use of relief funds to ensure accountability; and
- Clarify existing allocations set aside at Treasury for tribal governments and ensure they receive funding delayed by legal barriers over the last year.