Virus Outbreak New Jersey

A patron eats a free meal collected at Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen on April 10, 2020, as signs dictating social distancing protocols are shown on the sidewalk due to COVID-19 concerns in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

(The Center Square) – The federal government could allocate more than $9.4 billion to support local governments across New Jersey as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Congress is considering.

The Democrat-sponsored measure includes $350 billion in funding for state, local and territorial governments. Under the bill, 60% of the funds would go to state governments, while the remaining 40% would go to local governments.

As it stands now, New Jersey would receive nearly $6.5 billion, while local governments across the Garden State would see more than $2.9 billion.

“State and local governments have been hit hard by this pandemic, facing devastating budget shortfalls that threaten vital day-to-day programs and the dedicated public servants who provide them,” U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said in a news release. “First responders, teachers, and public servants across our state are risking their lives to serve our communities.

“We cannot let state and local governments fall into bankruptcy as they provide our cities and towns with critical services,” Pallone added. “The COVID-19 relief package House Democrats are advancing is estimated to provide $9.43 billion to New Jersey state and local governments, including more than $280 million to Middlesex and Monmouth Counties and more than $150 million to municipalities in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District.”

Middlesex County could receive the most funding of any local government in New Jersey at $161 million, followed by Monmouth County, which would receive $121 million.

“Critical services must be restored, jobs must be saved, and local and state governments must finally receive the help they need to fight the pandemic,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a news release. “That is exactly what our landmark legislation will do.”

In advancing the measure, members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform thwarted several amendments Republicans proposed. For their part, Republicans are poised to oppose the measure.

“Democrats claim they’re trying to help struggling Americans, but that can’t be happen when shoving hundreds of billions out the door with no strings attached,” U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, said in a news release. “The Democrats’ $2 trillion package is more likely to hurt our economy than stimulate it – that’s not just rhetoric, that’s coming from economists.

“This is not the unity President Biden pledged to the American people,” Comer added. “It’s time for Democrats to work on real solutions and help the American people instead of borrowing and spending taxpayer dollars to reward their political allies.”