Illinois Republicans urge Congress: Prevent governors from withholding federal funding from municipalities

May 19, 2020

U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (IL-15), Darin LaHood (IL-18), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Mike Bost (IL-12) sent a letter today to Congressional Leadership urging Congress to prevent governors from withholding federal funds appropriated by Congress for local municipalities that allow their small businesses to reopen in accordance with federal health guidelines, but ahead of arbitrary timelines outlined by states.

Following last week’s announcement of the “Restore Illinois” plan by Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Republican delegation heard from mayors, sheriffs, county board officials, and constituents with deep concern that the current guidelines outlined by the state will cripple the livelihoods of communities downstate. Many municipalities have laid out thoughtful, safe, and reasonable plans to reopen their communities within the federal guidelines. However, Governor Pritzker this week threatened to withhold federally appropriated funding localities that safely try to reopen in accordance with those guidelines, but ahead of his arbitrary timeline. As Congress debates additional relief legislation, the Congressmen released the following joint statement: “One of Illinois’ great strengths is our regional diversity, and Illinoisans of all backgrounds have stepped up to slow the spread of COVID—19 and flatten the curve. Small businesses, workers, and community leaders that we represent take this virus seriously and they are prepared to take unprecedented measures to safely reopen their local economies. That’s why it’s disappointing that Governor Pritzker threaten to withhold federal funding that Congress appropriated to provide relief to those in need.

“The federal government and Congress have done a great deal to support Illinois during this challenging time. We don’t believe our governor, or any governor, should have the authority to prevent federal funding they receive that Congress appropriates from flowing to communities fighting for their livelihoods and abiding by the federal health guidelines. We urge Congress to take action and stand ready to work with our colleagues to continue providing the federal relief Illinois needs.”

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