Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to President Trump and House and Senate leaders today expressing concern over the proposed allocation of funding for the District of Columbia in the Coronavirus Relief Fund passed by the Senate on March 26.
The current relief package allocates at least $1.25 billion in direct payments to every state but allocates only $500 million to the District by grouping it with territories. The attorneys general urge the federal government to ensure that the District government, along with all 50 states, receives the minimum allocation of $1.25 billion.
The District has nearly 200 confirmed coronavirus cases, which outpaces nearly two dozen states and territories. In addition, two states with smaller populations than the District will receive more than twice as much funding as the District in the current relief package. In the letter, 37 attorneys general insist that the District must be treated like the states and that shortchanging D.C. by at least $750 million is likely to exacerbate the COVID-19 crisis and will harm the D.C. Attorney General’s ability to enforce critical emergency response measures, such as limitations on business operations, price gouging prohibitions, and other protections for District residents.
The letter reads, in part, “The District’s contributions to the federal government are unique and substantial. The District is the seat of the federal government and is thus obligated to protect the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. Moreover, District residents pay the full panoply of federal taxes. Indeed, District residents contribute more to the federal government on a per capita basis than residents of any other state or territory. At bottom, the need in the District and the contribution of its residents to the federal fisc are significant. It is critical that the District receive the funding it needs to ensure adequate services to residents and businesses.”
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