Above: Gottheimer speaking at county funding event
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ – Today, August 20, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), along with Governor Phil Murphy, and local officials announced that along with the millions of dollars already invested into Warren and Sussex Counties through the CARES Act, both counties will be getting more than $1.38 million and more than $1.8 million in additional discretionary federal investment. These are key dollars that Gottheimer fought and coordinated for repeatedly to get to the four counties he represents, covering everything from testing to PPE to supporting first responders.
Every single town and every county will receive additional dollars, adding to the $4,021 every resident in the Fifth District has received, including $2,900 for Sussex and $3,200 in a Warren County — a total of $3 billion.
The funding will help reimburse County governments in Warren and Sussex Counties for the direct costs they’ve had during this pandemic, for PPE and additional resources for first responders and frontline public service workers, and investment to expand testing sites to protect communities.
“Just to put a fine point on this, because there has been plenty of misinformation out there: every single one of the 79 towns in all four counties in the Fifth Congressional District, including Sussex, Warren, Bergen and Passaic Counties, have received significant COVID-19 funding – for direct costs to the towns and counties and to families, businesses, nonprofits, first responders, and hospitals, “said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).“Since the beginning of this crisis, when North Jersey was in the eye of the COVID storm, I’ve been fighting to ensure that all of our counties, towns, and local governments get the federal resources they need to help them survive, recover, and grow.”
Gottheimer continued, “The millions of new resources going to Sussex and Warren Counties today are in addition to the hundreds of millions of CARES Act dollars that have already boosted each of the counties in New Jersey’s Fifth District. I’m proud that with a great deal of cooperation — from across the aisle and from every corner of this great State — we are all able to ensure our communities, families, businesses, first responders and frontline health care workers have the continued support they need.”
Commenting on Gottheimer’s continued advocacy to claw back federal resources for Warren and Sussex Counties and the Fifth District, Governor Murphy stated, “I want to recognize Congressman Josh Gottheimer from our Fifth Congressional District for not only being present this morning, but for extraordinary leadership and redefining the word bull dog. He literally does not take no for an answer.”
In March, when the CARES Act was passed, several of the counties did not immediately qualify for investment from one program due to outdated federal CDBG and ESG formulas set up under the Gerald Ford Administration. Gottheimer and the New Jersey delegation worked with the State of New Jersey to ensure that discretionary CARES Act resources the State received would go to these counties in particular.
Gottheimer recently announced that $3 billion in federal investment from the bipartisan CARES Act has helped every one of the Fifth District’s counties and towns to date, based on the most recent public data.
Gottheimer is also leading legislation to provide robust support to state and local governments on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund will provide $500 billion in emergency funding to every state, county, and community in the country while prioritizing assistance to the areas with the greatest need.
Gottheimer’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are here and below:
Thank you, Governor, for coming to Vasa Park today–– which has a Hackettstown mailing address I might add–– for this critical announcement, and for all you’ve done to make it happen.
As you’ve heard, we’re here today to announce three million dollars of new federal CARES funding for many of our New Jersey counties — including more than $1.38 million to Warren County and at least $1.8 million to Sussex County in the Fifth Congressional District.
That’s more than a million dollars to both Sussex and Warren Counties to help reimburse the costs they’ve taken on directly during the Coronavirus pandemic, for testing, PPE and additional resources for our brave first responders and frontline public service work force. These dollars will also go to maintaining testing sites to protect our communities in the months ahead. Hopefully, we won’t need them, but we must be prepared.
The investment being announced today is thanks to the bipartisan CARES Act package that we were proud to help pass out of the House in March — to get relief out to families, small businesses, states and local communities, to our hospitals, and for more testing and vaccine development.
Just to put a fine point on this, because there has been plenty of misinformation out there: every single one of the 79 towns in all four counties in the Fifth Congressional District, including Sussex, Warren, Bergen and Passaic Counties, have received significant COVID-19 funding – for direct costs to the towns and counties and to families, businesses, nonprofits, first responders, and hospitals. No one, no town, no county was left out. Today’s announcement of new federal CARES dollars to Sussex and Warren Counties just adds to that total, and will help our communities even more, fight this ongoing crisis.
My office recently did an analysis of all available data, and here’s what we learned. Even before today’s new, additional resources, to date, New Jersey’s Fifth District alone has received $3 billion in total —including an average $2,900 for every Sussex County resident and $3,200 for every resident of Warren County. Again, that’s before the new $3 million dollars announced today, and I want to thank the Governor again.
It includes the small business PPP loans to each individual county, the direct Economic Impact Payments to residents in each individual county, the federal unemployment support, for those out of work, and the hospital, non-profit, education, and other direct grants to each individual county.
For instance, Zufall Health Centers, with a location right near here in Hackettstown —received $1.7 million from the CARES Act to support their ongoing work in telehealth and community care; and $39 million from the CARES Act went to Fifth District colleges and technical schools — including Warren County and Sussex County Community Colleges.
Since the beginning of this crisis, I’ve said that all of our counties, towns, and municipal governments needed federal resources to help them through this, and that’s something I advocated strongly for with the entire congressional delegation, as well as local leaders around Warren and Sussex County to all the senators and the Governor.
Today, with these millions of dollars of CARES Act investment we’re announcing, we’re helping ensure every New Jersey county has the resources they need to continue combating the impacts of this virus on our communities.
But there is more to do. We must continue our fight to get resources out to every New Jersey community — especially those towns with eroding budgets due to the virus — to ensure we can pay their teachers and first responders. I’ve been working with members of New Jersey’s delegation, and across the aisle, to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation led by Senator Menendez, to create the SMART Fund — a $500 billion investment for all states, counties, and local municipalities, regardless of size — that prioritizes assistance to the areas with the greatest need.
And, as negotiations continue for another COVID relief package, which we must get done, I’m fighting in Congress to bring both sides to the table. Aside from critical state and local funding, the next package has to include support to families to put food on the table, and help those out of work. It should include another round of PPP for our small businesses, with strong transparency and oversight. We need resources for food assistance, our K-12 schools and colleges, and a huge investment for testing.
It is vital that we find a way to support all our communities, our businesses, our families, our local economies, and ensure our health systems, towns, and first responders have all the resources they need.
Today’s announcement comes from a great deal of cooperation here in New Jersey — from across the aisle and from every corner of this great State — to ensure we get through this, that we can recover, and that we can grow, and I want to thank the Governor again.
As we’ve seen over these past few months, here in New Jersey and throughout our country, we are stronger when we all come together. This virus does not see age, race, religion, gender, or political party. It affects us all. Fighting COVID isn’t a Democratic or Republican fight – it’s an American fight. It’s a battle I will continue fighting for my constituents.
We live in the greatest country in the world. We will beat this virus, because I know, like the Governor does, that our best days are ahead of us.
Please stay healthy — stay safe.
May God bless you and God bless these United States of America.