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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy again presses McConnell for more federal aid

Governor urges Republican leader to ‘stop playing politics with the recovery’

By Nikita Biryukov, September 04 2020 2:23 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy again pressed Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-Ky.) to negotiate with Democratic congressional leaders on a new round of COVID-19 stimulus that includes direct aid to states.

“I need to once again call out senate republican leader Mitch McConnell for his — I don’t know if it’s unwillingness or unreasonableness — in stalling on providing any direct assistance to states in the next federal coronavirus aid bill being negotiated or not being negotiated, as the case may be,” he said. “Sen. McConnell, if you’re watching, this is not about politics. It’s about the survival of the programs that millions of Americans, including in your home state of Kentucky, are relying upon for their survival.”

Lawmakers in Congress have failed to reach an agreement on additional federal aid moneys since passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in late March.

That law included more than $2.2 billion in aid but did not provide states with money they could use to plug budget holes created by months-long lockdowns enacted to stop the spread of the virus.

“We’re put so much on the line, and it’s cost our states dearly. Washington must step up to meet this challenge. Washington must step up to help us all pull through. Please folks, stop playing politics with the recovery,” Murphy said. “Our states need help. Our people need help or our recovery as a nation will be even more stalled, and when that happens, it is on you.”

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