A woman waits for a bus on a nearly empty street in downtown Chicago. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images.

U.S. mayors have banded together to ask Congress for $250 billion in direct funding to help cities deal with the enormous costs of fighting the coronavirus pandemic while also facing significant revenue loss from shutdowns of local economies.

The big picture: Last month's CARES Act allocated $150 billion to state and local governments, which was $100 billion shy of the ask from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The catch: There were restrictions on that money that mayors say prevent it from meeting cities' needs.

  1. Only municipalities with over 500,000 residents are eligible for the funding, leaving out the vast majority of cities and towns. That requirement represents only about 14% of the total U.S. population and fewer than 1% of municipalities, said Kathy Maness, a town council member in Lexington, South Carolina — a state in which no city is large enough to qualify.
  2. While states received funding, cities say much of that funding went to counties, and that they need direct money without having to go through state governments.
  3. While the money was allocated to help cities deal with coronavirus-related costs, that does not help them shore up their budgets due to the pandemic's huge blow to their usual revenue sources.

What they're saying: On a call with reporters Tuesday, mayors acknowledged they don't know if $250 billion will be sufficient to keep municipal operations afloat.

  • "We hope that's enough," said Bryan Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "It's so early in the process in understanding the midterm and long-range impacts. We're not sure how quickly things will be able to ramp up" after stay-at-home orders are lifted.
  • "Our cities are hurting and our residents are scared, our business owners are facing unprecedented uncertainty, and our front line health care workers are overwhelmed," said Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, Kentucky. "The costs of the actions to take care of our cities right now are blowing massive holes in our budgets."
  • "If cities do not receive direct funding, it will be enormous drag on the recovery because we will not have the revenue to keep people working," said Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, Ohio, who noted a large number of city staffers not directly related to the coronavirus response have been furloughed.

Go deeper: The next economic crisis will hit states and cities

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 31,517,087 — Total deaths: 968,726 Total recoveries: 21,622,862Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 6,895,685 — Total deaths: 200,768 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

Louisville declares state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency Tuesday "due to the potential for civil unrest" ahead of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Trump pushes to expand ban against anti-racism training to federal contractors

Trump speaking at Moon Township, Penns., on Sept. 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

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