NEWARK, NJ — U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. announced April 14 that Newark Liberty International Airport would receive almost $148 million from the recent CARES Act stimulus package to help Americans during the coronavirus crisis. Overall, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded 24 New Jersey airports roughly $161 million in funding.
“I was delighted to hear that Newark Liberty and other New Jersey airports would get the funding they need to survive this global pandemic,” Payne said. “Airports and other transportation hubs have all but shut down during this economic crisis. We need to make sure they can pay their employees and maintain their facilities until we slow the spread of this coronavirus and get our country moving again.”
According to a release from Payne’s office, Payne voted for the CARES Act and has been working diligently to help get life-saving aid to his constituents and all Americans during this difficult time. He co-wrote a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a ventilator design that could help supply local hospitals in New Jersey and the rest of the country immediately. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he has been in constant contact with FEMA officials to press them on when supplies will be available nationwide. Recently, he asked FEMA to establish a third federally-funded coronavirus testing facility in New Jersey in a letter signed by the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation. Payne would like for the testing facility to be located in New Jersey’s 10th Legislative District, which he represents, because it has two of the top three counties in state coronavirus cases, behind Bergen County. Essex County does have a local testing facility, but it is for residents only.
In addition, he has supported three coronavirus-related aid bills in the House. The first one, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, provided $8.3 billion to fund medical efforts and became law March 6. The second one, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provided free coronavirus testing for all Americans and mandatory paid sick leave for all workers; it was signed into law March 18.
The third and most recent one, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, provided more than $2 trillion in emergency financial aid to Americans through direct payments, unemployment benefit increases, and funds to state and local governments to combat this global public health threat. The bill authorized direct payments of $1,200 to Americans who earn less than $75,000 and $2,400 to families who earn less than $150,000, as well as $500 for each child. Also, it would provide $375 billion to small businesses through grants and interest-free loans, $150 billion to state and local governments to help them handle coronavirus-related expenses, and $200 billion to support America’s hospitals and health care workers.