April 27, 2020

Van Hollen Applauds Fed Decision to Expand COVID-19 Relief to More Cities, Counties

Decision Follows Van Hollen Letter Urging the Fed to Reverse Course

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) applauded the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to reduce population requirements for cities and counties to receive relief from the Municipal Liquidity Facility. This program, created under the CARES Act, allows the Fed to purchase up to $500 billion of debt from eligible cities and counties. However, under the Fed’s previous guidance, only 15 counties and 10 cities across the United States would be eligible for the program. On April 17, Senator Van Hollen led a letter with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), among others, urging the Fed to change its population requirements. The Fed’s decision today will allow counties with over 500,000 residents and cities with over 250,000 residents to apply – meaning that localities throughout Maryland will now be eligible to directly use the lending facility including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.

“Our cities and counties are tackling the coronavirus head-on from both a public safety and economic standpoint. Right now they’re mobilizing first responders, setting up testing sites, providing emergency services to those struggling to get by, and working to maintain the day-to-day utilities our citizens rely on. The Fed’s original guidance was shortsighted and blocked many cities and counties from getting the help they need on the front lines. I’m glad to see they made this program more widely available, and I’ll continue fighting for the relief our state and local governments need in this battle,” said Senator Van Hollen.