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Statements on pandemic relief package

By David Wildstein, December 22 2020 8:31 am

REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER

“Months ago, the Problem Solvers Caucus and a group of Senators from both sides of the aisle began meeting with one goal in mind: breaking through the biggest impasse in recent history in Congress. Today, with our bipartisan, bicameral agreement as its foundation, the House has now passed emergency pandemic relief — finally delivering critical lifelines for our families, businesses, and communities.  This is the model for how Washington should work: coming together, understanding that we should not let perfect be the enemy of the good, and that the American people should always come before partisan politics. This is about actually governing. It is a different model. It is not the one that gets you clicks, but it is how you get a bill done.”

REP. MIKIE SHERRILL

“Americans have had a difficult nine months, and now face an incredibly tough winter. This legislation will deliver urgently needed relief over the next few months.  It ensures that families can stay in their homes and unemployed workers will continue to receive additional support. It also provides a second round of PPP, funding for vaccine distribution, and direct cash payments.”

“Congress must continue its efforts once this legislation is signed into law — there is so much left to do. We will need to extend relief measures again and send direct aid to state and local governments that are facing revenue shortages resulting in layoffs and budget cuts while working on the ground to provide food assistance, testing sites, and small businesses grants. I will keep working to provide support to North Jersey residents so we can get to the other side of this crisis.”

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI

“Today’s COVID-19 relief bill is imperfect and insufficient, but it will help many New Jersey families get through the winter.  This bill will extend federal unemployment benefits, help people pay their rent and tuition, accelerate the distribution of safe vaccines, and will help businesses stay afloat with a second round of PPP loans. Unfortunately, the GOP Senate won their fight to defund police and fire departments, public works, parks, and other services by refusing to help state and local governments facing revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19. I am voting for this bill today because millions of Americans are in desperate need of help, but I will continue to fight for additional relief in the weeks to come.”

REP. ANDY KIM

“I voted for this bill because our working families, frontline health care leaders, and small businesses need it, but it is woefully insufficient for the size of the crisis we face. I’m glad that we’ll see additional support for our unemployed neighbors and funding to distribute vaccines, but that has to be the beginning of these efforts, not the end. We need an American Marshall Plan to expedite the shipment of vaccines and ensure the safe and equitable distribution of them. We need to work towards the goal of ensuring that no one is left homeless or without food on the table because of this crisis. And we need a historic investment in jobs and small business support to rebuild the main street businesses that define our communities. I’ve heard a lot of frustration over the past nine months from my neighbors; it’s frustration I share. Congress has not met this moment, but we will have a chance in the coming months to make this right for the American people. I hope we can come together, put aside our differences, and deliver the support our constituents need to attain the health and security required to achieve the American Dream.”

REP. CHRISTOPHER SMITH

“This long-overdue legislation has additional funding for COVID vaccine accessibility and distribution, money for schools so they can safely reopen, and another round of $600 direct payments for Americans who have been hit the hardest during this pandemic. This relief bill also will extend the successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has kept many small businesses afloat with desperately-needed relief, and will add deductibility for PPP expenses.”

U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER

“After over seven months of delay and inaction from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tonight we are bringing long-overdue, much-needed relief to millions of people across New Jersey and our country who are hurting.

“This bill extends critically needed pandemic unemployment assistance, offers protections for renters and homeowners, and provides support for small businesses, including dedicated funding to go towards small and minority-owned small businesses. It also allocates urgently needed resources for vaccine distribution, testing and tracing, and health care providers.

“But there remains much more work to be done. We must secure additional state and local funding needed to support our first responders, educators, essential workers, and critical programs. We also must do more to support those out of work with additional unemployment insurance benefits and help families struggling during this economic crisis with more robust direct cash payments.

“We have a mandate to act boldly and comprehensively to help New Jerseyans and people across the country get through this severe economic and public health crisis. This bill is a step in the right direction, but I will continue fighting alongside my Democratic colleagues to ensure this is not Congress’ last pandemic relief package.”

REP. BILL PASCRELL

“It is unconscionable it took this long.  While this bill does not provide aid to state and local governments that are being bled into bankruptcy, nor sufficient direct payments, it provides nearly a trillion dollars of relief into our fragile economy. It will help struggling Americans and it would be irresponsible to oppose helping people in trouble.”

“There is a lot of back-patting today by the very people who blocked relief for seven months. No one should ever forget that during Republicans’ deliberate obstruction countless Americans have been killed and our nation has been damaged. The bill we passed today offers a fraction of the relief our nation needs and that the House passed 219 days ago. Today’s package is not enough by a long shot. There should be more, but Republicans who sat on the pause button simply won’t agree to anything more. Tens of millions of Americans are crying out every day for help because of this administration’s failed pandemic response that has led to over 318,000 Americans dead, nearly 1 in 18 Americans infected, and growing permanent job loss. I hear these pleas and know this bill will not end the crises many are facing. But it will help ease the pain for some. While vaccine distribution is just getting underway, the crises created by this pandemic are deepening. It will be up to us in Congress to pass more direct relief to Americans and in the House, we will.”

“The Garden State has been hit harder than almost any other state during the pandemic. Throughout this crisis our delegation has labored together to bring back help to our borders, and this agreement reflects that hard work. Funds passed today will keep New Jersey small businesses alive, families afloat, our first responders equipped, and our infrastructure preserved. Our cities and towns are being bled into bankruptcy. The next Congress has no choice but to pass state and local government assistance on a grand scale. If we do not, I fear our communities will take decades to recover. In the 117th Congress, I will not rest until we pass state and local aid and I will not halt until it is enacted.”

REP. DONALD NORCROSS

“New Jersey and the nation are facing a historic public health emergency and economic crisis. Every American urgently needs relief, and some assistance is finally on the way.  While we are providing an additional round of coronavirus relief today, this is only a fraction of what working families and small businesses need to survive. I will continue fighting for additional resources and working closely with South Jersey officials and health care leaders to ensure our communities get the tools and supplies needed to combat the virus and keep residents healthy and secure.”

REP. ALBIO SIRES

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to flare up across the nation, and we are faced with both the health and economic consequences of the virus, it is passed time that the hard-working American people get more relief,” said Congressman Sires. “As we move into the winter it is essential that we provide appropriate support to help the millions of people struggling because of this virus. While everyone would have preferred to reach a deal sooner, I am confident that the measures in this legislation, and the billions in authorized funding that House Democrats fought for, will go a long way in providing concrete relief to the public.”

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