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Top Maryland officials urge Trump and Congress to resume stimulus talks

Members of the Maryland Board of Public Works -- Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot, shown in March -- are calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to resume talks on a second financial stimulus program.
Members of the Maryland Board of Public Works -- Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot, shown in March -- are calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to resume talks on a second financial stimulus program. (Brian Witte/AP)

Three top Maryland officials who oversee the state’s finances issued a bipartisan call Wednesday for President Donald Trump and congressional leaders to resume talks on a new coronavirus economic stimulus package.

Additional aid to families, businesses and local governments is “desperately needed,” said Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, speaking during a video meeting of Maryland’s Board of Public Works.

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“Yesterday, the president cut off bipartisan negotiations until after the election,” Hogan said. “Washington’s continued failure to pass this much-needed relief is already harming our nation’s health and our economic recovery.”

After Trump shut down discussions between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hogan urged everyone to work to reach an agreement.

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“There’s no shortage of really good bipartisan and common-sense proposals,” Hogan said. “And so, once again, I’m urging all of our leaders in Washington to put aside the politics and get this done for the American people.”

After abandoning the negotiations, Trump later called for Congress to approve $1,200 in stimulus checks and help for airlines and small businesses. Pelosi has been pushing for a broader relief package that would include aid to state governments and has pushed back against piecemeal solutions.

Maryland’s state government has seen a downturn in the taxes it is collecting due to the pandemic-induced financial depression, and the Board of Public Works already has cut more than $400 million from the current year’s state budget, with more cuts possible.

But, according to state economic forecasters, the situation would have been much worse without the first round of financial stimulus in March, which included business aid, direct payments to individuals and enhanced unemployment payments.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, noted that the state’s latest economic projections count on another round of stimulus.

“Without a second stimulus package, we are taking a tremendous economic risk as we head into the winter,” Franchot said.

The third member of the Board of Public Works, Democratic Treasurer Nancy Kopp said she hoped Hogan and other governors “can work some sense into the White House.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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