Federal and County Relations

EPA clean water rules reignite decades-old feud

The Biden administration issued new rules to abide by a May Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the scope of the Clean Water Act. But critics say the changes didn't go far enough.

We’re Back! Our Grand Return to Live Events

Route Fifty and GCN will hit the road with a new free event series to explore how cities across the country are building their future today.

In Preview of Debt Limit Fight, House Republicans Target Climate Funds

A House Environment subcommittee voted to claw back $27 billion from President Biden’s climate law, signaling what the GOP may demand in future budget negotiations.

Treasury Reopens ‘Help Desk’ for States and Localities

The call center, which fielded 300 calls and about 2,000 emails a week before it was shut down, provided governments with assistance on the handling of various pandemic-related programs.

Local Governments Still Counting on Pandemic Aid Despite Clawback Threat

Officials continue to deal with food insecurity, rising housing costs and learning gaps as House Republicans consider whether to recall American Rescue Plan Act funds in the Treasury Department's coffers.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Putting Federal Aid into Local Hands Works, White House Says

State budget surpluses are a sign the American Rescue Plan worked, Biden adviser Gene Sperling told the National Association of Counties conference.

How the Debt Ceiling Debate Puts State and Local Dollars at Risk

With a battle over federal spending brewing between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, counties and low-income housing advocates are warning of potentially damaging cuts.

What the $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill Includes for States and Localities

Congressional lawmakers fought back attempts by conservatives to delay the legislation until next year, approving billions for infrastructure, new regional technology hubs, homelessness programs and other state and local government priorities.

Should the Deadline to Spend ARPA Dollars be Extended?

Some local officials involved in managing American Rescue Plan Act aid describe a 2026 cut-off to use up all of the money as uncomfortably close.

The Infrastructure Law, One Year In

Local officials are still expressing appreciation for all the extra federal funding. But some, along with Republican lawmakers, are seeking tweaks on permitting and in other areas to make accessing and spending the money easier.

Cities and States Bristle Over Proposal to Change How They Report on Finances

Congress is weighing a plan that calls for overhauling how state and local government financial data is made public, stirring worries about new costs for software and staff. But supporters of the revamp say it’s long overdue.

Treasury Shuts Down Helpline for States and Localities

Due to a funding crunch left unaddressed by Congress, the department is phasing out phone and email services to field questions about billions in pandemic aid.

$1B Cybersecurity Grant Program Still Coming Into Focus

The new federal initiative is in its early stages, with questions about how the money will be spent and how much control localities, versus states, will have over it.

A Leading Republican Looks to Get Tough on the SALT Deduction

Rep. Adrian Smith, who is vying to be the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, views the state and local tax deduction as a potential federal “subsidy” for liberal policies.

Republicans are Gearing Up for ‘Aggressive’ ARPA Oversight if They Take Back the House

Lawmakers tell Route Fifty that “clawing back” unspent or misspent American Rescue Plan Act funds from states and localities is a possibility.

Democrats Strike Deal to Boost Funding for Police

The package would provide new federal dollars for hiring officers, as well as violence prevention initiatives and job training.

States and Localities See Big Infusion of Cash From Earmarks

The once-tainted, but now revived process to fund congressional lawmakers’ favored projects is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to state, local and tribal governments.

It’s Time for Congress to Step Up Its Support for Public Lands Counties

COMMENTARY | Local governments with huge swaths of federal land make important contributions to the nation’s economy, but also face unique challenges. Lawmakers should act to shore up the programs they depend on.

Feds Offer Greater Flexibility to Use ARPA Money for Housing

Counties welcomed the updated American Rescue Plan Act guidance. With rents and home prices high, the Biden administration is urging states and localities to put some of their federal pandemic aid towards housing programs.

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.