Norcross, NJ Congressional Delegation Call on President to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for NJ due to COVID-19

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg discusses his ideas about how the continuing scandals surrounding President Donald Trump and his exit from office will ultimately benefit NJ Democrats Gov. Phil Murphy, George Norcross III and 2020 Presidential candidate Cory Booker.

Norcross, NJ Congressional Delegation Call on President to Issue Major Disaster Declaration for NJ due to COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) joined the New Jersey Congressional Delegation in writing a letter to President Trump, supporting Governor Phil Murphy’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to make New Jersey eligible for additional federal resources to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

“The federal government needs to provide support for our state and municipalities who have been frontline responders during this difficult time,” wrote members of the delegation.

The bipartisan letter was signed by Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Tom Malinowksi (NJ-07), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

 

“We ask that you approve Governor Murphy’s request, which would make our residents eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA),” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Federal funds will allow New Jersey to provide Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Childcare Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance. These programs, along with others that Governor Murphy officially requested, will help equip New Jersey with the necessary resources to respond to the immediate health pandemic and its corresponding economic impacts.

Norcross and the entire bipartisan New Jersey Congressional Delegation also sent a letter on Monday to Congressional leadership, asking them to prioritize robust funding and flexibility for the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) program, which provides operational funding for local governments to continue to operate after a substantial revenue loss caused by a major disaster. Additionally, the NJ Delegation sent a letter to FEMA officials on Sunday requesting the Administration set up four, 250-bed federal medical stations (FMS) in order to increase capacity in the state’s already taxed health system with COVID-19 cases on the rise. These rapidly deployable units contain beds, supplies and medicines, which can quickly turn a pre-identified building into a temporary medical shelter.

Full text of the NJ Congressional Delegation letter to President Trump follows and can be downloaded here.

March 24, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump:

 

Governor Murphy has formally requested a Major Disaster Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are writing to urge you to approve this request to ensure New Jersey has the resources it needs to respond to this growing crisis.

 

New Jersey is one of the most impacted states with more than 2,800 confirmed cases as of the date of this letter.  Governor Murphy has taken unprecedented actions to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.  New Jersey has activated its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to take all necessary actions to curb the pandemic, which has received an overwhelming amount of requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that our state has not been able to keep up with.  This shortfall will jeopardize the ability of healthcare professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials to do their job safely and effectively.  Our state has established two mobile testing sites and is looking to create additional sites but currently lacks the PPE and test kits necessary to meet growing demand.  While New Jersey’s actions have been robust, we anticipate that our state is not through the worst part of this pandemic. 

 

We ask that you approve Governor Murphy’s request, which would make our residents eligible for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA).  Federal funds will allow New Jersey to provide Disaster Unemployment Insurance, Childcare Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance.  These programs, along with others that Governor Murphy officially requested, will help equip New Jersey with the necessary resources to respond to the immediate health pandemic and its corresponding economic impacts.

 

In addition, we call for the approval of Governor Murphy’s request for FEMA Public Assistance programs.  Public Assistance for Emergency Protective Measures, Direct Federal Assistance, and Community Disaster Loans will mitigate the financial burden imposed on state and local governments.  The federal government needs to provide support for our state and municipalities who have been frontline responders during this difficult time.

 

We urge you to promptly approve Governor Murphy’s request a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey. We appreciate your consideration of the request.

 

Sincerely,

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