MAHWAH, NJ — New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer was in Mahwah on Monday debuting a new set of policy ideas that he believes could have a big impact on some national problems making life harder for locals.
The set of policy points is called the Affordability Agenda for Jersey. Within that agenda, Gottheimer hopes to “cut costs, tackle supply chain issues, lower prescription drug costs, restore the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, and make life more affordable for families and small businesses in North Jersey.”
The announcement came inside the warehouse at Mahwah’s Snow Joe, one of the many businesses in the region affected by ongoing supply chain issues.
“We welcome Congressman Gottheimer here today to discuss his efforts to alleviate the supply chain pressures impacting so many businesses across the state of New Jersey and the country,” said Snow Joe Chief Operating Officer Paul Riley.
“Snow Joe has not been immune to these challenges and our teams have been working diligently on a daily basis to limit the impact. Shipping delays, sky-high container costs, and rising costs have all resulted in us being forced to pass along price increases to our customers.”
Though supply chain issues are a major part of the agenda, it’s just one of the pieces. According to Gottheimer’s office, the agenda will also try to address rising gas and energy prices, heightened medical and prescription costs, and also reinstitute the SALT deduction.
Here’s what the congressman will submit regarding the supply chain and medical costs:
Tackling the “Supply Chain Crisis”
Gottheimer has presented two steps to try and alleviate stressors on the supply chain.
First, Gottheimer will request that President Joe Biden activate the National Guard to help offload and truck critical supplies at ports, and utilize the United States Transportation Command fleet to help move critical supplies across the ocean.
Second, the congressman is proposing the creation of a “federal Supply Chain Czar” as part of new legislation that will also establish individual regional supply chain leaders to help coordinate interstate response to supply chain disruptions, shortages, and increased prices.
This legislation will also allow states to deploy unused COVID-19 relief funds to help address supply chain bottlenecks in their states, he said.
Gottheimer also wants to start a 30-day countdown clock on the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Transportation to report to Congress, and the public, on the “major current chokepoints in our nation’s supply chain.”
Lowering the Prescription Drug Costs & Making Childcare More Affordable
Gottheimer recommends instituting a cap in seniors’ out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, capping the price of insulin at $35-a-month, and ensuring families do not pay more than seven percent of their annual income on childcare each year, which, he noted, is all included in the reconciliation package that Gottheimer recently helped pass out of the House.
Most importantly for the congressman, he said that these steps can be taken quickly.
“My new Affordability Agenda for Jersey is action we can take right now to help our families and small businesses with the COVID-driven impact on our economy — to get more money back into Jersey families’ pockets,” said Gottheimer.