Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of 32 House members named by President Donald Trump to a bi-partisan White House working group to rekindle the American economy once the worst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic passes.
Trump kicked off the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group with a conference call on Thursday.
“I accepted the appointment to this task force for one simple reason: it gives me the opportunity to fight for my District and our state,” Gottheimer said. “It gives me the chance to make our case directly to the President, on behalf of our residents, businesses, hospitals, and front-line health care workers.
Gottheimer is the only New Jerseyan on the panel, which also includes nearly two-thirds of the United States Senate. The 5th district congressman is one of ten Democrats named by Trump.
The appointment gives Gottheimer a leadership role in the revitalization of the economy after the devastating effects of COVID-19 at a time when he is facing a Democratic primary challenge and a general election in a politically competitive district.
“We need more resources to support our jobs, businesses, hospitals, and the State of New Jersey — and, when the time is right, we need a clear get-back-to-work checklist that protects public health and safety,” Gottheimer explained. “Ultimately, given the recessionary winds, we will need a stimulus package that includes infrastructure investment and full reinstatement of the SALT deduction. We will not always see eye-to-eye, but the best way to beat this virus and its effects is to work together, putting country first.”
According to the White House, the Opening Up America Again group discussed added funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. International and domestic supply chain, unexpected medical billing, mental health issues, clarifications of how essential and non-essential workers are defined, relief for small businesses, and plans to energize the economy.
“New Jersey’s Fifth District and our state are hurting during this health and economic crisis,” Gottheimer said. “Tens of thousands are sick in my District and more than 950 have died. Our workers, businesses, hospitals, first responders and health care workers need more support, urgently.”