Federal and County Relations

The Evolving Debate Over ARPA's State and Local Aid Program

President Biden's top advisor on the American Rescue Plan Act dismisses Republican claims that money from the law is being wasted. But he's also urging local government leaders to look for more ways to highlight their successes with the federal funding.

It’s Time for a New Development Strategy in Coal Country

COMMENTARY | The Ohio River Valley region of Appalachia has long been a political stumbling block in the national climate debate. But with the right resources, it can become a global leader of the new energy economy and a more sustainable future.

The Simmering GOP Criticism of State and Local ARPA Spending

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have been bashing projects paid for with American Rescue Plan Act dollars that they see as wasteful. It could be a sign of further scrutiny to come if they take back one or both chambers of Congress.

White House Wants to Ensure Good Stewardship of Infrastructure Funds

New guidance directs agencies on implementation of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

Local Governments Vie for New Round of Congressional Earmarks

The revival of what critics deride as "pork" yielded $2.7 billion for localities this year. Now they're looking to secure even more of the federal cash. “We've had dozens of communities across our district submit requests,” says one House lawmaker.

Federal Agencies Pledge to Provide Funding More Equitably to Disadvantaged Communities

The departments said they will do more to address systemic racism in their programs and procedures and work more closely on these efforts with localities.

‘There’s a Large Amount of Fraud Out There,’ Says Special IG for Pandemic Recovery

The role is “not a political job in any way, shape or form” and “if we go out of business, then I think you're missing a key element of … oversight,” Brian Miller says.

New Senate Bill Aims to Improve Federal Coordination With States and Localities

The measure has bipartisan support, but similar efforts in recent years have fizzled. Will this push be different?

How Your Government Agency Can Recoup Millions of Dollars

COMMENTARY | Recovering indirect costs from grants and contracts can help refill the general fund, which is under pressure due to rising costs and ongoing needs related to the pandemic.

One Year Into ARPA Rollout, Spending Varies as Scrutiny Mounts

Billions in state and local aid from the American Rescue Plan Act have gone to combat the pandemic, but also to build monuments and fix state buildings. Republicans are increasingly questioning the need for all the funding and how it is being spent.

Biden Tries to Hit Reset on Domestic Agenda in State of the Union

The president renewed his case for child care and other social programs as a way to cut costs for families facing inflation. But political obstacles remain and Russia's attack on Ukraine presents a growing crisis abroad.

White House Moves to Identify 'Disadvantaged' Communities in Line for Federal Funding Boost

The administration wants to steer more money to areas most in need and has released a draft of places that should get more help.

Massive Budget Bill Would Open Even More State and Local Funding

In a year that's already seen a major infrastructure package signed into law and billions in pandemic aid, domestic spending legislation the U.S. House approved last week promises to direct additional federal cash towards state and local priorities.

One County Will Give $76 Million in ‘Hero Pay’ to Public Employees for Covid Response

Most full-time workers in California’s Santa Clara County will receive $2,500 bonuses, all paid for with the county's federal Covid-19 relief allotment.

State and Local Push on Infrastructure Finally Pays Off

Congress’ approval of a roughly $1 trillion public works package marks a milestone for cities, states and counties that have pressed for years to get federal infrastructure spending boosted.

House Passes ‘Long Overdue’ Infrastructure Package

President Biden and local government leaders hailed Congress’ approval of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which will provide funding for roads, bridges, transit, broadband and water projects across the country.

House Prepares for Votes on Social Spending, Infrastructure Bills

Paid family and medical leave was introduced to the latest House version of the $1.75 trillion package.

Biden Releases $1.75T Social Spending Framework to Win Over Democrats

The White House scaled back the original $3.5 trillion proposal, dropping paid family and medical leave and some Medicare expansions.

What Stays and Goes as Democrats Trim Biden’s Domestic Spending Bill

Funding for free community college tuition is likely to be cut and a child tax credit and paid family and medical leave could be limited.

More Than 500,000 Public Workers Likely to See Debt Relief Under Student Loan Forgiveness Overhaul

The U.S. Department of Education announced a host of changes Wednesday to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which guarantees debt forgiveness to qualifying public sector employees.