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Congress Is Sending Relief But Many Cities And States Didn't Get What They Wanted

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Moynihan Train Hall in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. The $1.6 billion project replacing Manhattan’s cramped and dark Penn Station with a light-filled train hall is set for completion this week, with the first trains rolling out on New Year’s Day. The new 255,000-square-foot station is named after U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat who championed the project and died in 2003. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig/AP

While it took time for congress and President Trump to agree on the $900 billion pandemic relief bill, one thing has been certain for a while. Many mayors and governors did not get the money they requested.

Tracy Gordon, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, explains that while states will get funding for things like public education and vaccine distribution, what mayors and governors really want are unrestricted funds to spend how they'd like.

NPR’s Ailsa Chang reports on how public transit has been hit especially hard during the pandemic. And scaled-back services, while saving some money, hurt passengers who rely on them.

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