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06/14/2020 | Building a National Campaign for a Strong Economy: Fed Up

Aiming to Underachieve: How a Federal Reserve Lending Program for Local Governments is Designed to Fall Short

Local governments are facing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In April 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which authorized the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to create a $500 billion municipal lending program. This municipal lending program was touted as a mechanism to provide vital assistance to struggling local governments and their residents. Unfortunately, the key findings in this white paper show that 97% of the 255 cities, states and counties named as eligible for the program are functionally excluded as a result of highly costly and restrictive loan terms set by the Fed. This will result in the municipal lending program being significantly underutilized, in spite of the fact that it was explicitly authorized by Congress to be an essential resource for avoiding damaging austerity-driven program cuts and layoffs. Download the report to learn more.