New York Members Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Congressman Peter King (NY-02), Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23) and New Jersey Members Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), and Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), sent a bipartisan letter with 100% of each state’s delegations to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. The delegations unanimously request the creation of a separate fund of at least $40 billion in the interim emergency COVID-19 relief package and that it be allocated among the states based upon their share of the national infection rate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking data on April 10, 2020.
New York and New Jersey are the epicenters of the current pandemic. As of April 10, both states have a combined number of 208,100 cases of COVID 19, or 45% of all COVID-19 cases in the country (more confirmed cases than the next 18 states combined). However, federal aid is not currently being allocated proportionally to the impact of the virus, meaning that the hardest hit states are not being given the help they need in the current battle. For example, in the first $30 billion of Federal Coronavirus Aid for hospitals, New York only received 6% of the money, despite having approximately 35% of the cases. New Jersey only received 3% of the money, despite having approximately 10-11% of the cases.
In the letter, the Members wrote:
“The current and historical funding formulas used by the federal government are insufficient in the face of this global epidemic. New York and New Jersey need substantial emergency funding in order to fill budgetary holes for critical services during this crisis. Without adequate, and proportional assistance, we fear that our states will be forced to cut services, such as health care, education, nutrition, first responders, free and fair elections, and transportation.”
In addition to Suozzi, King, Gottheimer, Smith, Jeffries, and Reed, the bipartisan group of members who signed the letter includes: Kathleen Rice, Lee Zeldin, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, José Serrano, Sean Patrick Maloney, Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, Elise Stefanik, Anthony Brindisi, John Katko, Joe Morelle, Brian Higgins, Donald Norcross, Jeff Van Drew, Andy Kim, Frank Pallone, Tom Malinowski, Albio Sires, Bill Pascrell, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Mikie Sherrill, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.