Menendez, NJ Delegation Call on Congressional Leadership to Prioritize Community Disaster Relief Funds

Menendez, NJ Delegation Call on Congressional Leadership to Prioritize Community Disaster Relief Funds

'While we believe ensuring states and communities have access to robust and flexible spending grants should be the top priority in the next emergency stimulus package for COVID-19 that Congress considers, we simultaneously urge the prioritization and inclusion of adequate funding and improvements to the CDL program'

  
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) joined the full bipartisan New Jersey delegation in asking the Congressional leadership to prioritize robust funding and flexibility for the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) program, which provides operational funding for local governments to continue to operate after a substantial revenue loss caused by a major disaster. 

 “The CDL program provides critical operational funding to local governments that have significant tax and other major revenue losses after major disasters like Superstorm Sandy and the COVID-19 outbreak,” wrote members of the delegation to top leaders of the House and Senate. “These loans provide lifelines for municipalities to help prevent disruptions to essential services that are critical to maintain the health and welfare of our communities.”

“Adequate funding for this program is essential to the local municipalities that are in immediate need of federal assistance,” continued the members of the delegation. “While we believe ensuring states and communities have access to robust and flexible spending grants should be the top priority in the next emergency stimulus package for COVID-19 that Congress considers, we simultaneously urge the prioritization and inclusion of adequate funding and improvements to the CDL program.”

The letter was also signed by the rest of the bipartisan New Jersey delegation: Senator Cory Booker and U.S. Representatives Andy Kim (NJ-03), Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.-02) Andy Kim (N.J.-03), Chris Smith (N.J.-04), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06), Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07), Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.-12).

Full text of the letter is below and can be downloaded by clicking here.

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer,

As members of New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation, we thank you for your leadership and efforts in securing two bipartisan agreements thus far to help mitigate the impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As you consider additional measures to address COVID-19, we urge you to prioritize supplemental funding for the Community Disaster Loan (CDL) program and support modifications to the cap and repayments terms of loans issued through the program.

The CDL program provides critical operational funding to local governments that have significant tax and other major revenue losses after major disasters like Superstorm Sandy and the COVID-19 outbreak. These loans provide lifelines for municipalities to help prevent disruptions to essential services that are critical to maintain the health and welfare of our communities. Pursuant to Sec. 417 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, FEMA is authorized to issue up to $5 million with an initial five-year term, with a maximum repayment period of ten years per loan. Adequate funding for this program is essential to the local municipalities that are in immediate need of federal assistance. While we believe ensuring states and communities have access to robust and flexible spending grants should be the top priority in the next emergency stimulus package for COVID-19 that Congress considers, we simultaneously urge the prioritization and inclusion of adequate funding and improvements to the CDL program.

In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which made temporary revisions during that calendar year to the traditional CDL program. We ask you to consider making similar necessary adjustments to CDLs issued to municipalities due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, we ask that the cap for CDLs be raised from $5 million to $10 million and ask that the repayment terms of all loans issued through the program be extended from a maximum of ten to fifteen years. We believe these adjustments would provide much needed flexibility for loan recipients of the program for this truly unprecedented event that will have long-lasting economic impacts to all State economies.

Thank you for your consideration of this time sensitive request. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices if we can answer any questions.

Sincerely,

###

Press Contact

Steven_Sandberg@menendez.senate.gov