Chris Smith, Peter King introduce legislation to provide high-impact COVID-19 states like NJ, NY with more federal funding
Under a new bill introduced by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Peter King (R-NY), on Friday, May 15th, states hit hardest by COVID-19—like New Jersey and New York—would receive more federal COVID-19 disaster assistance than less-affected states.
Smith’s bill, the New Jersey, New York, and Highly Impacted States COVID-19 Relief Fund Act (H.R. 6914), provides $500 billion to the states and territories, dispensing the monies based, in part, on population but also, very importantly and specifically, taking into account the prevalence of the disease throughout the 50 states.
“In my state of New Jersey, more than ten thousand people have tragically died so far with more than half of the fatalities suffered by women and men who resided in long term health facilities,” Smith said. “My bill, introduced with cosponsor Rep. Peter King of New York, appropriates $500 billion in aid to the states, with a significant amount--$100 billion—set aside for those states with the highest infection rates—like New Jersey and New York. Click here to read the text of the bill.
Smith noted that in addition to the $100 billion set aside for high-impact states, these hot-spot states would also receive significant support through the remaining $400 billion in the relief fund as it will be disbursed based primarily on population.
“Over the last two months, I have pushed for and strongly supported important bipartisan COVID–19 relief laws,” Smith said. “By enacting those laws, Congress and the President have provided over $3 trillion to meet the challenges posed by the virus and loan guarantees backed by the Federal Reserve have added trillions more to the rescue.
“New Jersey and New York are the two states slammed hardest by the COVID-19 response outbreak, in terms of lives lost and people who’ve contracted the disease,” Smith said. “Our businesses have been almost entirely shut down; testing and our healthcare workers pushed to the brink of capacity.
“We must do more—and federal aid should be primarily based on impact and prevalence of the disease,” he said.
Smith’s bill to provide $500 billion in COVID-19 aid across the country includes:
o $100 billion is allocated as additional amounts among each of the states and territories in proportion to the relative prevalence of COVID–19 as published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
o $140 billion is allocated as additional funding to states based on population, and;
o $40 billion would be distributed equally between each of the states;