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Posted on: April 28, 2020

Update on Federal Efforts to Aid Municipalities

We want to thank Congressman Andy Kim, who is the latest – but hopefully not the last – member of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation to sign-on as a cosponsor of H.R. 6467, the Coronavirus Community Relief Act (CCRA). This bill would provide federal support to every New Jersey municipality – none of which qualified for aid under any of the COVID response bills enacted, to date.

As has been reported, the rug has been pulled out from under the advocates for aid to American municipal governments. They had been told that those concerns would be addressed in ‘the next bill.’ Before the ink was dry on the Payroll Protection Plan and Health Care Enhancement Act – Congress’ most recent effort to strengthen public health and the economy – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced opposition to more state and any local aid. Suggesting they, instead, consider bankruptcy, Senator McConnell said, "We’re not interested in rescuing them from bad decisions they’ve made in the past, we’re not going to let them take advantage of this pandemic to solve a lot of problems that they created themselves and bad decisions in the past."

Yesterday, Congressman Tom Malinowski appeared with Governor Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, and a panel of other State Leaders. Congressman Malinowski, a prime sponsor of the CCRA, took the roadblock head-on, stating, "This is about the survival of small-town America. And at the end of the day, I’m not sure if Mitch McConnell wants to be the person who is responsible for telling small-town America to go to hell. That’s what he’s doing right now."

To date, all New Jersey U.S. Representatives, except for Congressmen Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, Chris Smith, and Donald Norcross, are enrolled as cosponsors of the bill. If you are in any of their Districts, please ask them to join their colleagues as cosponsors on H.R. 6467.

Thank you all for your efforts on this.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.


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