Sen. Ossoff talks COVID relief, direct aid for GA cities, towns

GA Senator pushing for direct federal aid to small to medium sized cities, towns, & counties
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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Sen. Jon Ossoff talks to WTOC about his first few days in office and COVID-19 relief.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTOC) - Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff has been on the job for 12 days now, and says he’s pushing hard to get smaller and medium-sized cities and towns help in this new COVID relief bill.

“I’m pushing for the Senate to move swiftly to pass the COVID relief legislation that Georgia needs,” Sen. Ossoff says.

Senator Ossoff says his priority in that bill is getting direct federal assistance to Georgia’s small and medium sized cities and towns, like Savannah and surrounding areas.

Cities, towns, and counties with populations under 500,000 were eligible for relief from the CARES Act, but only from their states’ allocation.

Ossoff is pushing legislation he says will help get federal aid directly to those communities.

“This economic crisis means that tax revenues have declined, so local communities are having to cut vital public services: public safety, public health, infrastructure maintenance. This includes, by the way, vaccine distribution,” Ossoff says. “So it’s really important the federal government direct resources not just to the biggest cities in the country, but also to smaller cities like Savannah which need to support those vital local public services and save jobs right now.”

President Joe Biden is set to meet with Senate Republicans Monday on that bill. The Republican group is proposing $618 billion in coronavirus aid as opposed to the President’s $1.9 trillion plan.

Ossoff says he believes Congress needs to be ambitious with this latest round of assistance.

“I really think we need to go big here,” Ossoff says. “This is not a moment for us to underbid on the level of support that families and small businesses and local communities need.”

Ossoff says he expects a budget resolution to be introduced in the Senate this week, a first step in passing a new relief bill.

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