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Gov. Phil Murphy meets with the New Jersey congressional delegation in Washington, DC on February 27, 2020. Photo courtesy of Twitter.

NJ congressional delegation calls for major disaster declaration

By Nikita Biryukov, March 24 2020 11:52 am

The entirety of New Jersey’s House and Senate delegations asked President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration sought by Gov. Phil Murphy in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“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,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Trump. “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.”

As of Tuesday morning, before most states have provided daily updates on their number of novel coronaviruses, there were 2,844 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, the second most in the nation behind New York’s 23,230 cases.

On Monday, Trump announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency would fund National Guard units deployed in New York, California and Washington.

The same day, New Jersey’s COVID count surpassed those of California and Washington. The Garden State was not awarded the same aid as those other states.

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

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