In light of the economic downturn brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Tri-Valley Congressman Mark DeSaulnier has recently announced a bipartisan legislative initiative geared toward providing economic relief funding to communities more quickly.
Announced with Republican Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15) on Thursday, The Community Services Block Grant Enhancement Act (H.R. 7328) is designed to help local communities more quickly and efficiently access the money set aside by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program -- a federal program designed to address poverty.
Changes would streamline the process in which communities can access those funds and remove barriers of access, a motion that itself will streamline communities' recovery from the economic downturn.
“Inequality in the United States has been growing for decades. The coronavirus pandemic has deepened this crisis, leaving too many families struggling to pay their bills, make rent, and put food on the table,” Rep. DeSaulnier said in a statement. “I want to thank Congressman Thompson for joining me in this bipartisan effort that would make an immediate impact in the lives of millions of families.”
According to DeSaulnier's office, the CSBG program received an additional $1 billion from The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020 as a way to provide financial support to local communities during the ongoing pandemic.
H.R. 7328 would help local communities more quickly and efficiently use funds assigned by CARES by expanding the eligibility for CSBG funding, lifting a restriction that makes it difficult for small states to receive additional funding and requiring states that receive CSBG funding to disburse to grantees within 30 days.
"Expediting CSBG guidance, eligibility, and funding will better serve local communities, who are facing numerous challenges as a result of COVID-19. There is no better way to empower local agencies to address the specific needs of their communities," Rep. Thompson added. "I am always pleased to work with Congressman DeSaulnier to offer bipartisan solutions to help American families in need."