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tv   Mayors Other Local Officials Discuss Pandemics Impact on Budgets  CSPAN  January 31, 2021 10:14pm-11:01pm EST

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conservative, to my way of thinking, there is a bias in their actions. against those that have that perspective. but nevertheless, that said, i have always said that these companies have a first amendment right to put up on their platforms what they wish and they have a first amendment right to take down what they wish. quick social media and free speech, monday night and ed :00 p.m. eastern on the communicators, on c-span2. >> mayors and county leaders join the discussion on federal aid for cities and counties struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. >> good morning everyone. i want to thank you for joining us.
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i am mayor nan whaley and present the u.s. conference of mayors but i want to thank her for an sent the national league of cities in the national association of counties for their sheer issue on badly needed federal assistance as we continue to fight the covid-19 pandemic. a quick note for members of the chess -- press joining us today we will take questions after brief opening remarks. if you have a question please put your name in media outlet in the chat and we will call on you. i'm keeping this brief and to the point. local leaders have been sounding at definite alarm for months about the need for direct fiscal assistance from washington as the virus rages in our city. our budgets are under extreme stress. arts fences are skyrocketing. our essential lifesaving services are strained. the need for public assistance is through the roof. this has been going on since the beginning of the pandemic since march of last year.
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today, only 38 cities have received direct relief yet mayors everywhere continue to do what we do everyday. we get it done. we run our cities with a balanced budget which we are required to do by law. so what does that mean? how do we possibly do that in the face of this tremendous crisis? it means the cut jobs. it means eliminating services and staff at the same time. our first responders have been on the job since day one of this pandemic transporting those with covid to hospitals with public health initiatives keeping social and family order as tensions rise from economic and health care risk fighting crime and fighting increased drug abuse and death. while it looks like we may finally get a desperately needed national strategy for vaccine distribution of the mentation we are being called upon again to
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help at the local level. we are the front lines, more so than any other group you hear from. our nation's leaders know we need the help. u.s. conference of mayors is coming off of its virtual meeting where we heard from from president biden majority leader leader chuck schumer and house speaker nancy pelosi. all of them talking about the need for direct relief for cities. president biden talk to us about his rescue plan that includes $3,050,000,000,000 for state and local governments specifically so we can quote keep educators, first responders, firefighters on the job. we enthusiastically support the biden planet we know the president understands the role of our first responders and the critical role our local governments have played and will continue to play in responding to the virus in leading the recovery. senate majority leader chuck schumer said the package will
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include quote direct aid to local and municipal governments who have had to make such difficult budgetary choices in the face of this unprecedented crisis. and house speaker nancy pelosi said and i quote this package will provide strong direct local government support to ensure that local governments can keep workers on the job, keep services running and can equitably and immediately distribute the vaccine. president biden is put forth an aggressive plan to contain the virus and rebuild our economy. we are so looking forward to partnering with his administration to do just that but we can't do the partnership without help now. this is it, this is the moment. this is the back one of the american economy. if we want to be able to build back better we can't let what's left of the foundation crumble. thank you again for your time
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and with that i will turn it over to to union city georgia mayor williams. >> thank you mayor whaley i appreciate that and i concur with your passion. i need to share with all of you today america's communities are in the middle of a dark and difficult winter as covid-19 cases at unprecedented highs under this is as remained shuttered. congress is truly committed to rescuing communities and easing the heavy economic and health burden weighing on the american people the people that elected all of us to do the right thing, they need to demonstrate their commitment to lifting up local governments on the ground with absolutely no hesitation in no debate, and no paring down. it is totally outrageous once
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again that direct funding to local governments was left out of the bill passed by congress in december. make no mistake, our nations hometowns were the first to respond to the bipartisan shutdown of our national economy and we continue to do everything we can to save lives and protect jobs. this is why the american rescue plan proposed by president wyden is so extremely critical to our communities. this support could not be more urgent or essential. we have heard some members of congress say this, it's too soon, too soon to provide more aid for an additional stimulus package. we are here to collectively and respectively to emphasize the day to local government cannot come soon enough. it is clearer than ever that investing in local communities is one of the most important
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investments that we can make as a nation right now to save lives rebuild our economy and rescue struggling residents. we are urging congress, pleading to follow several key principles as aid for local government advances through the legislative process. first, emergency funding should be fair and appropriate for each and every local government with no minimum population threshold or eligibility. second, aid should be directly allocated through familiar and proven government revenue sharing programs such as an allocation formula based on the community development block grant program known to many of us as cdbg. it works. third, entanglement of state and local funding should be minimized or even curtailed so that there clarity about
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allocations to state, municipal and county governments. fourth, eligible expenditure should be targeted to widespread health and economic consequences of covid-19 including revenue shortfalls resulting from measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. local governments do not expect the federal government to make up for every loss of local revenue. what we are seeking is critical federal assistance to save america's cities, towns and villages and to ensure local leaders are part of the solution to our economic recovery. that is all we are asking. we need the federal government to step up. it is time to do what we campaigned to do and that is to support the people who put you
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in office so certainly we need you and i'm going to turn it over to my good friend county commissioner marilyn kirkpatrick. >> so much. you have said a lot of what i've been thinking for 381 days. we have seen our first case so it's been a long-haul and we are $1.2 billion short in her current budget. we have spent all of our reserves of three to 74 million just to provide social services we needed on day one and for us even waiting for the first package that came through, we couldn't wait. do -- before ag jobs and i didn't food and they didn't have gas. they had no daycare so it really has taken a toll on the local government side and now we fight
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for more vaccines. so we can get back to work. being a county you can imagine we rely and 52 million visitors to come to our community and its the bulk of power budget is set up yet we are headed into a legislative session now and we know when the state cuts that is going to make is that more cuts on the social service side. to give an example today we spent $130 million just on rental assistance and we still have 19,000 people that face eviction on march 1. we have spent $20 million on food assistance getting food to our communities and valleys. 31% unemployment and i can't stress enough that i'm very fortunate that my congressional delegation hears from me every
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single day and i encourage you to reach out to your congressional delegation every single day so they have to keep boots on the ground in what we are facing. children who don't have shoes and can't go back to school and parents who have not worked for over a year. we have to retrain them just to get started to go back to businesses that have been out business for over a year that we need to get back and we have a couple hundred thousand just going out the doors and that's economic hardship for the long-term. i can't stress enough how important it is and how local government plays a significant role. i've been on the phone with teachers all morning and it's only 8:00 where i live. you can imagine my phone started at 5:30 on what they need to get back into the classrooms so i am for all this to work work together to push congress to truly make decisions tomorrow
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because the longer we kick the can down the road the hard it is for us to recover. so thank you for the opportunity to speak and i'm always excited to be around all of my colleagues because you know what it takes to get back on track so thank you. >> next we are going to have my friend and colleague, the mayor from arlington texas jeff williams who has been imploring congress to do this for months and months. mayor williams. >> i must address congress because citizens across america need your help. please don't leave cities behind again. the devastating consequences will last for years. we all know there is good reason for optimism out there. we are all hopeful that we can snuff out this pandemic this year but we are a long way from being out of the woods. the economy last month should
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jobs instead of creating them and 140,000 jobs were lost in december and 51,000 of those lost jobs, more than a third were in state and local government. this crisis is not over and whenever it is over we are going to be digging out of it for some time. since the pandemic began nearly 1.4 million people who work in state and local government have lost their job. we are not seeing a v shaped shifter cover it all. u.s. conference of mayors does up dated its report on metro economies and we forecast without help it will be mid-2023 before even half of american cities regain the jobs they lost last year. we need strong cities to have a strong recovery and it's just that simple. in d.c., state and local seems
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to have become an abstract category on a list somewhere but in reality state and local represents people's livelihoods, public safety and critical services that people rely on every day. it's real people who live in cities than they've been left behind in previous legislation but please not again. we must not end up on the cutting room floor. we have been waiting and now is our time. then i must say it is not true that this is a big city or a blue state rovlin. that's nonsense. there are republican mayors just like me who are in dire need of fiscal relief. i can tell you to that cities all across texas and our nation both big and small are all facing the same crunch and this crisis is a direct result of the pandemic and nothing more. cities like ours have been running a tight ship and have
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seen everything changed and up-ended because of this pandemic. no small business could have foreseen what could have happened. no city could land for crisis of the scale, churn natural disaster. cities can't oro the way that federal government can and enter cities are required by law to balance the budget each and every year. as mayor whaley pointed out the house the senate and the white house have all committed to getting this done. what we can't have happen now is politics getting in the way of doing what is truly a bipartisan need and doing the right thing in providing direct fiscal assistance. we have been told by congress that they will worry about cities the next time a couple of times now. well we are here. it is time and every day that it's delayed more consequences
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are being realized and very much negative consequences. next time needs to be now. we need our federal partners to get the job done. we are all looking for better days ahead and those better days will be much quicker by providing fiscal assistance to our counties and cities. thank you and i will now turn it over to my good friend to, mayor victoria wirtz. mayor worters you are muted i believe. >> thank you mayor. it's an honor to be here with all of my colleagues and talking about an issue that's incredibly serious to all of us. our cities need to be rescued from the financial cliff there are. yesterday the federal reserve warned that the u.s. economy recovering is weakening.
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municipal job cuts have real world consequences for residents households and small businesses. when residents lose jobs demand for state and local government is increased underscoring the urgency for congress to step in and provide the support we need to help our committees through these very difficult times. over the past several months we have continued to communicate what we are seeing in our hometowns with regard to revenue loss layoff numbers and every piece of local data that we have a nurse disposal. it's estimated municipal governments are facing 90 billion -- to their current revenue. according to labor statistics december 2020 jobs reports local governments shed 32,000 jobs. state and local government employment is down by
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1.8 million jobs compared to february of 2020 just before major actions took a toll. this figure is 25% higher than what we saw during the 2008 financial crisis. our latest nl c. survey of municipal -- 90% of municipal governments have experienced the revenue decrease of the least 21% and 76% have experienced the next adventure average increase of 17%. for our residents their households, our local businesses , read directions and waste collection and recycling problems reduce services for households that rely on public transit and pausing plans for utilities upgrade such as water and broadband infrastructure which is so needed at this time.
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we are asking for additional support for local government to be put off and avoid the options of last resort such as permit custom municipal services at a time when her communities need local service is the most. laying off furloughed municipal employees who are large share of america's middle class and the deathly canceling infrastructure programs that will further impact -- impact local employment business contracts and overall investment in the economy. we cannot leave, i repeat we cannot leave america's hometowns of kind and witty congress to act not yesterday and not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow but we need them to act now. i would now like to turn it over to county commissioner larry duff. >> thank you mayor.
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appreciate this opportunity. i want to give you a story of a hot day in september in georgia in cat county george on january january 5. i got called to come to an extended stay hotel. i have 11 families that were kicked out on the streets are they came over and the families were helpful if -- helpless. it was very hot in georgia was burning up and those families were in need of a lot of help are these were essential workers who son said been cut off. i had to call the church just across the street who had gotten covertly funds to help they provided houses for these families. those families have been looking for a place to live from september and we have 911 families that found the place to live. part of our covid relief funds
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we want to make sure those families had legal help. i use some of my funds to make sure that happen. just yesterday we found out that those 11 families have won their lawsuit. as we talk about the eviction moratorium being extended and as we talk about food relief and food insecurity eviction help, this rescue package will help us to help those families and many more because the counties are where the rubber meets the road. i want to share a quick story with you as i get into my points of what i want to talk about to america, to our congress. please, please, please continue to come to our counties and walk in our shoes and i will take you to see those families and visit them. america weekend that or to leave anybody behind. we have to make a difference.
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our counties are making it happen that we need this relief package and plan to do more for us in our committees. my name is larry johnson and i'm the cat county commissioner first vice president of the national association of counties. counties are or where residents are feeling devastated from it impacts the pandemic both in public health and economic development. american governments support of her 1900 local public health departments. nearly 1000 high schools in critical access clinics more than 800 long-term critical facilities and 750 behavior health centers traditionally county government are responsible for murder separations 911, courts jail management of public safety emergency response protective services for children and where the last of the first responders are also there to make a
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difference in our communities, our coroner sent medical and public health services. we are urging congress to pass biden's america rescue plan which includes state and local funding now. we need help right now. we aren't going to sugarcoat it. we are hurting. counties across the country for digging into reserves and borrowing against their future. we need help. we have been calling for a corona relief package and flexible aid for months now and it's too long. in georgia alone we have 731,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus. 12,000 people have died. my county alone i have 45,000 residents have tested positive. 580 in two of the top five zip codes in the county. that is too much. the county is distributed over
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8000 care kids. we have collaborated with partners to distribute 20,000 massing loves to first responders. we have held several food distributions throughout the county for food insecurity. we appropriate community-based organizations like i talked about atlanta legal aid eviction relief and given money to churches to help us with our food pantries. we are doing everything we can to mitigate the virus and keep our small businesses alive for the most vulnerable residents including our seniors and children the unemployed and the front-line workers who fight this pandemic. we are committed to building back better at this public health economic crisis. congress, congress, congress we need you to come and help us. it's not about wall street or main street. we need our streets to be taken
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care. the federal resources included in the america rescue plan would enable county leaders to make strategic investments to get to the task of vaccinia residents mitigating the spread of the deadly distractive virus. these unprecedented times for unprecedented cooperation and bipartisanship, both parties and i stress, both parties should work together and pass this american rescue plan. now we'll handed back over to mayor sub tenent thank you all for listening. >> thanks commissioner and thanks to my colleagues for their salient points about why it's so important for congress to work now on the biden land and why we need the rescue now and move as quickly as possible. image before you if you have a question put in your name and which outlet you are within the chad and i will call on you.
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we also have tom cochran and matt chase of the national association of counties on the call as well if you have questions for them. with that i will open it up to allen. >> thanks very much. the two county commissioners gave specifics about what's happening in their own counties and if any of the mayors want to talk about your own cities and the cuts and layoffs to have had to make her other issues you are dealing with. >> i also have examples of other cities that aren't on the call that would be helpful for you. in dayton for example we cut 102 positions last year through the voluntary separation program and if not fill those positions than this year we will not have a police or fire -- putting our services at lower levels for those front-line workers. here are couple a couple mark samples for you.
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detroit is going to have an estimated revenue loss of 154 million the school year 2020 and 280 million in 80 million in 2021 for a total of 4,034,000,000 that detroit has had to lay off 200 employees and the hours of 200 employees in 2020th of january 4, 1255 detroit employees are on reduced hours per detroit has instituted a hiring in discretionary spending in eliminated new initiatives much like most of the rest of the country but pittsburgh $56 million short in the 2020 budget and the cities approve budgets 54 million less than what they expected for the city will need to lay off or furlough over 600 employees beginning july 2021. new orleans at the end of 2020 the city has collected only 57% of what it budgeted in sales tax come only 57% for the city's total revenue loss at the end of 2020 was around $152 million
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with the date on previous and economic recovery of hospitality set your shows up it could be three to four years before they return to pre-covid times and in dayton for example when the covid pandemic hit in march january and february for strongest years and we have not recovered from the job loss of the great recession so will take years for many cities to come out and every day the congress doesn't pass the rescue package it affects the recovery and of economy through scranton pennsylvania ford million-dollar revenue loss and projected for 2021. those are just some of the examples cities that we've been talking to record early. mayor williams and i have been on calls because of how important is this for mayors across the country and if anyone else has a specific number example that they want to give on this call. >> i don't have specific numbers but here in union city we haven't made any job cuts but
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certainly we have curtailed hours. we have great pain and great need in our communities from our residence. that's where his heart earn is coming coming from right now producer relates to the federal government stepping in to assist us it will help us with being able to help with some of what the commissioner was speaking of and that is -- i haven't been able to do that in my city. there are some cities in some areas where they've been able to step up and assist with rental assistance. i have not enabled to do that. so we see today the growing number of homeless in our cities. this is why it's so important. this is in every city issue that we are faced with right now that we have got to make sure those elected officials that are in washington right now making these decisions that they step
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up to the plate and honor the pledge that they said to the american people, send me to washington, send me and i will take care of you. it's time for us to make sure that we honor those pledges. >> i also want to mention in a report around employment levels for 2019 to give you a sense of the u.s. metro areas that the mayor generated one third of u.s. metro's will not have recovered their lost jobs by the end of 2024 from this. 40% won't recover until 2023. our point is simple everyday the congress congress fails to get state and local money it makes the recession lasts longer and then secondly dr. fauci this morning talked about how quickly we must get this vaccine on the ground. who is delivering those vaccines that local governments?
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it has to happen if we are serious about getting out of this economic recession. >> in tacoma some of the things we see in tacoma in fiscal year 2021 is the $32 million shortfall. what we have not per million laid-off employees we have put employees on furlough and we have positions we have not filled. in addition to that $32 million where we are a city that has a convention center. we anticipate a number -- another $15 million loss in revenue for our centers. a lot of that has resulted in public work projects studies and the ability to stand up more local libraries and closing libraries and people need library services the most. in addition to that we had to shut down inches in the city
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because we can't afford to keep our fire engines running at this time we are sending our first responders the most. those are just a few examples and there are many more but we need help and we need it now. we think about the number 38 cities, only 38 cities have received direct funding. the national league of cities represents over 2400 cities, towns and villages and that's just the national league of cities. think how many more are not members that have no. >> next we are going to joey garrison of "usa today." >> a couple of questions. the budget shortfall that cities are experiencing, said largely a result of the smaller sales tax intake or what is the revenue stream that is falling short that is resulted on this
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pandemic. >> let me take a stab at that and if someone else wants to add. >> i will jump in mayor when you get done. >> the mayor and i have visited around 15 different states. it depends. in ohio it's an income tax issue. when people are working that affects cities and places like new orleans it's a sales tax issue in the north carolina because they just cut them off. a lot of their funding goes to states and cities. each place has it different unique situation on their taxing structure but at the end of the day 10 million americans out of work, those are front-line workers that maybe her buying anything and they certainly are paying income tax or they are not staying -- paying the state which affects our direct services services. each community is different and
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one thing that is the same we all have a balanced budget with less money which means we get less front-line services. >> i will add mayor whaley did a great job and let me add a couple of other factors. one is sales tax has been devastated in almost every city from the results of tourism and retail sales. and jobs in tourism are two of the main ways that the tax revenue is generated. you heard mayor whaley talk about cities that rely on income tax. now that it's been hit because of loss of jobs. a lot of other cities rely on property tax revenue and that is just now started to come into play. the appraisals busier will affect the revenue for so many cities because the bid lost tax
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revenue due to property values decreasing especially on commercial businesses. where's bill feeling the effects and then you add to that, we need to be on the front lines administering these vaccines administering help to her businesses so we must, we need the help so we can stand on our 2 feet and be moving ahead and not be reeling from the economic loss. >> i just want to add in order to provide services we need revenue and people need to understand that when times are tough when the government more than ever to step in and to provide services. whether it's businesses that are having to adhere to all of these regulations you need people that can go out. we have committees and you need
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those revenues in order to provide enforcements who we need code in enforcements because still have to run our cities and counties across-the-board and folks are relying on us more than ever. i hope what the press doesn't take away from this as it's not just about money but the services we provide. many businesses today they don't know where to turn tomorrow and they need to be able to step in and help them to provide vaccines and all that cause. in clark county $38,000 to administer vaccines. we need to provide vaccines so people can provide for their families. it is a service.
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government felt the brunt of it. we are trying to find those revenue sources to be able to provide the services that people need across the country. it's very different that we have relied on the structure that has helped us provide those services. >> i have another question if i'm able. >> the heroes act which passed the house over the summer had over $900 billion for local and state governments and the american rescue plan introduced by president biden has 350 billion, roughly a third of that, more than a third of that. is $350 billion enough to cover the needs that are out there across the country and are you getting any indication from the biden administration on how the $300 billion would be divided up
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>> the biden heirs of is made very clear that this is a rescue package and there will be a relief package following. we are sheet that is something that will get us to deal with what we are dealing with right now. keep in mind i think mayor williams and the commissioner did a good job of explaining what we'll have to do with the long-term funds. we are able to get out of our houses and assess the situation of our communities. we argue no that they are been places like mental health with addiction issues children's issues that have not dealt with. that is going to be a significant burden and costs. i think the relief package that comes forward will be part of this. this will be very helpful for us
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right now. we are focused like everyone else is right now because who in the vaccine distribution to happen as quickly as possible so he can save lives and get our economy moving. that's what this plan is and that's why we fully support the biden/harris administration plan. we had a conversation last week with u.s. conference of mayors with the national economic council director reid and they are working with us on that trait we so confident the biden administration will pay attention particular to the fact that only 13 cities ever see funding. the only round that came through local government and from the national league of cities and the office of mayors we are about all communities making sure we get funded and we are united on that front. a lot of times smaller communities have much higher words because they have nowhere to hide.
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imagine if you were a town of 10 or 20,000 people and you have nowhere to go. we know the best way to get this done is to get on the ground and we are united in that work and we have shared that with the biden administration we felt confident that will happen. you guys are all welcome. >> i want to add we have that doubled digit unemployment rate. we are already starting behind and that's why the urgency is so crucial and we need the support. i had a lady who called me and she had called me for the second time. she had a 99-degree temperature and finally got it down to 94 but many don't have internet access. that whole group that is essential to our workforce is
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steadily falling behind because we have the barrier put up. we have had various before. we have a letter from the pcp with 30% of the folks in my district uninsured. so guess what of all these groups being locked out so we are behind and that's why this rescue plan packages so needed so we can make sure we can try to provide a foundation for some type of semblance of normalcy so we can get back to a productive workforce. imagine the kids not even in school. this is a whole economic tsunami that we are facing and if this rescue plan needs to be passed today so we can move forward and help our >> former president trump became the first president to be impeached twice.
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last week the articles of impeachment were delivered to the senate with jamie raskin reading the article to the senate. >> removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the united states. >> so help you god. >> the following day, senators were sworn in as jurors in the trial. republican kentucky senator rand paul requested a point of order to dismiss the impeachment charge as unconstitutional. i make a point of order that this proceeding which would try private citizen and not a president, vice president, or civil officer violates the constitution and is not in order. >> the motion was tabled. afterwards, the senate approved the rules of the trial and adjourned until tuesday, february 9, marking the start of the senate impeachment trial.
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watch the senate impeachment trial live at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2, stream live at, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> the next covid-19 stimulus package was a topic on the sunday news programs. here's what senators rob portman and bernie sanders had to say. >> the first time of heard the administration say they want to actually make good on the promises made with regard to covid-19. so you made progress, thank you. it is extraordinary to me that you have a great speech, which i said at the time, at the inaugural talking about the need to heal and the need to work together as a country in a pledge to more outreach to republicans, and the next day landing on our desk a one point $9 trillion covid-19 package and only a month ago we passed a $900 billion covid-19 package
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that was entirely bipartisan. this one including the democrats on a bipartisan group. it compiled the previous bill. frankly we haven't gotten much of a response yet until today, so thank you. it's true that this morning we sent out a letter to the president saying we would like to work with them, it's signed by 10 republicans and specifies in the proposal that we think is more targeted and appropriate for the times we are in. we've done it five times, we've had five covid-19 packages. let's do it again because that is what is really best for the country. >> you said you cannot reach out to republicans indefinitely and democrats should use the majority. this morning were hearing 10 gop senators have a new plan. so is it a mistake for immigrants to consider abandoning bipartisan negotiations so soon?
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sen. sanders: the issue is are we going to address the incredible set of crises and the pain and the anxiety which is in this country? you know what? i don't care what anybody says. we have got to do with this pandemic. we have to make sure we're producing the vaccines we need and get those vaccines into the arms of people. we cannot have children in this country going hungry. people being evicted. schools not open. we need to open our schools and a safe way. that's what we have to do. the question is not bipartisan pipped the -- bipartisanship. if republicans want to work with us, they have better ideas on how to address those crises, that is great. but to be honest with you, we have not heard that. >> with the biden administration leaving the federal response to the runner virus pandemic, --
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coronavirus pandemic, go to use the interactive gallery maps to follow the cases in the u.s. and worldwide. go to ♪ >> the 1971 spring offensive filled a few days more than three weeks. it began with the arrival of a few antiwar veterans. it began with no great expectations of success or impact, but it moved sometimes in


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