Murphy says new stimulus bill is ‘not nearly enough’

Gov. Phil Murphy is angry with congressional Republicans who are challenging the results of the presidential election. (File photo)

On Sunday night, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives finally agreed on another stimulus deal to help Americans dealing with economic hardships due to COVID-19. Gov. Phil Murphy, who has been begging for such a deal for months, was not as excited as you might think.

Simply put, Murphy feels it’s not enough assistance.

“I have long said that we are facing a $3-4 trillion moment,” he said. “At $900 million, we are undershooting.

“No one should fall into the false sense that the job is done — it is not. This is no time for half-measures, and we cannot keep finding ourselves back at the beginning once each round of support dries up before the pandemic is tamed.”

Congress agreed on a $900 million deal that will provide more checks for individuals (up to $600), another Paycheck Protection Program and an extension of unemployment benefits for another 11 weeks.

And, despite his misgivings on the total amount, Murphy does still realize that the money from the bill will go a long way in helping New Jersey residents.

“We are happy to see the House and the Senate come to an agreement — one that will offer some relief for working families and small businesses, extend the deadline for the investment of CARES Act funds into our communities and provide some funding for our vaccination efforts and our schools,” he said.

Lawmakers are expected to make a final vote Monday and officially send the bill to President Donald Trump for approval. The bill comes just in time, as several aid programs under the CARES Act, such as eviction protections and pandemic jobless assistance measures, are set to expire at the end of the year.

Naturally, the governor is standing firm with his insistence that this package is not enough.

“We need to keep working,” Murphy said. “Our families and businesses need more. Our communities and our fellow states need direct support. So yes, count me as grateful for this agreement, but do not count me as satisfied with it.”