Rep. Sherrill: New Jersey Needs Immediate Relief in Our Fight Against COVID-19
Washington, DC -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, sending the bipartisan legislation that provides immediate relief to New Jerseyans to the President’s desk for his signature.
“New Jersey needs immediate help in our fight against COVID-19,” said Representative Sherrill. “Today, we worked to get aid to our doctors, nurses, families, workers, small businesses, and local municipalities grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. I hear every day from residents who are struggling to cope with the economic consequences of this crisis. On my daily calls with our local hospitals and medical providers, I hear about the universal, urgent need for personal protective equipment and ventilators. This relief is essential, and it is critical.
“There are areas of this bill that fall far short of what is needed. And there is more work to do. I will continue fighting to help New Jersey, and our residents who are on the frontlines of this pandemic.”
New Jersey has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and in the last 24 hours, the positive cases increased by more than half. Representative Sherrill fought for provisions in the bill that directly impact New Jersey’s ability to address the COVID-19 epidemic and help New Jersey workers, healthcare providers, and small businesses:
- $150 billion for state and local governments to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, including an estimated $3.44 billion for New Jersey;
- Approximately $200 billion for hospitals, health providers, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment (PPE) desperately needed including ventilators, N95 masks, gowns, and gloves;
- $750 million in Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state, local, and tribal grants to help agencies cope with the public health emergency, including an estimated minimum award of $15 million for New Jersey. States can apply for additional funds above the minimum award, based on need;
- $260 billion in expanded unemployment benefits, including an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers;
- Provides immediate, direct cash payments to lower and middle-income New Jerseyans, $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for a household;
- More than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants;
- $25 billion in aid for transit systems, including an estimated $1.25 billion for New Jersey Transit;
- Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills, including an estimated $12.4 million for New Jersey;
- $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile;
- $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to bolster domestic supply chains;
- $100 million for Firefighter grants to provide PPE, supplies, and reimbursements;
- $260 million in funds for the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, U.S. Navy hospital ships;
- $1.5 billion to support National Guard Title 32 operations, which move them to state active duty in times of domestic crisis.