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Philly, Atlanta and Phoenix ask Treasury for $50B for cities

November 14, 2008 | 10:43 am

The line outside the Treasury is getting ever longer.

From Bloomberg News:

Philadelphia, Atlanta and Phoenix are asking the U.S. Treasury Department for part of the $700 billion financial rescue package to help them finance construction projects and pay bills.

They seek $50 billion on behalf of cities nationally to spend on infrastructure and loans lasting for as long as a year to aid cash flow. A copy of the letter was supplied by a spokeswoman for Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

"The federal government is providing support for the financial industry,'' said Luke Butler, a spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who organized the effort. "Cities could use some support, too.''

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson said on Nov. 12 such requests are beyond the scope of the bailout.

The mayors are part of a growing list of those outside Wall Street seeking money from the U.S. Treasury. Officials originally intended to buy devalued mortgage assets that left banks reeling from loses and hesitant to lend.

President-elect Barack Obama said during a Nov. 7 press conference that he wants to extend assistance to state and local governments. During his campaign, Obama also proposed a so-called infrastructure bank to invest $60 billion in roads, bridges and other projects.

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