In this file photo, President Joe Biden walks along the West Colonnade at the White House on Nov. 5, 2021, on his way to the Oval Office. (Adam Schultz/Official White House Photo)
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday urged local and city governments to continue to use the $130 billion in funds allocated to them from the American Rescue Plan to help during the pandemic.
The president of the National League of Cities, Vince Williams of Union City, Georgia, introduced the president to attendees of the organization’s Monday conference.
In Biden’s brief speech, he said he was proud that nearly 6,000 local governments were able to directly receive funding to help with job training and reopen schools that were shuttered during the pandemic.
“A big part of the reason we’re so successful is because the rescue plan went directly to you without having to ‘Pass Go,’ without having to go to the statehouses,” Biden said.
More importantly, he urged local leaders to take advantage of the flexibility afforded by the ARP.
“One year later, the rescue plan is still delivering,” Biden said. “So (I) urge you all to use the flexibility we built in the law to spend these funds wisely to reduce violence in your communities, like members are doing in Baton Rouge and Baltimore and New York City.”
He also touted the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law that would help bring jobs and help strengthen local governments’ economy.
“The law is going to create millions of jobs — you’re building Americans’ roads, bridges, highways, ports and airports,” he said.
Biden said that states should use the funds from the ARP to help with job training so that Americans can partake in nearly 4,000 jobs that have been authorized through the implementation of the infrastructure bill.
“Build a strong, diverse workforce to take on these infrastructure jobs,” he said. “So that families in your communities can deal themselves into this booming economy.”
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