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Cities Awash in Rescue Cash Seek to Use It to Pay Down Debts

July 16, 2021, 3:00 PM

America’s states and cities are receiving $350 billion from Washington, an unprecedented move to head off a fiscal crisis that could have derailed the economic recovery.

But at least two dozen local governments and lobbying groups are pushing President Joe Biden’s administration to allow the federal funds to be used for something the Treasury Department hadn’t envisioned: paying down debt or socking it away.

Among them is Oceanside, a 176,000-person city on the Southern California coast. Michael Gossman, assistant city manager, wants to be able to use the federal aid to replenish reserves drawn down last year so the ...

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