TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy said he is "pleading for direct [financial] assistance” from the federal government as he requested more than $20 billion for Washington during his COVID-19 press briefing in Trenton on Friday. 

“We will continue to push for direct aid that New Jersey—and every state that is shouldering the burden of this pandemic—needs to come back stronger and more resilient,” he said. “If only (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell shared our sense of the gravity of the situation.

“I cannot express enough my level of frustration with his inability to put together a relief bill that has any meaningful or significant direct assistance to states. This may be just another game of politics for Senator McConnell, but this is a matter of survival for governors of both parties."

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Murphy added that "pushing important decisions to the last minute" threatens the state's ability to safeguard public health and safety, education, infrastructure and other initiatives "for the long term." 

He also said his administration will "push for direct aid to New Jersey to come back stronger.”

“We need another significant slug of direct federal cash assistance," he said. "Please, I’m pleading with Congress—both sides of the aisle—hear our call. Not just from Blue States, not just from the Northeast. To keep us delivering services in our darkest hour of need, we need direct cash assistance. It’s good for everybody.”

Murphy estimated that New Jersey needs north of $20 billion to keep delivering emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare, education and other services to state residents and reiterated that these are essential needs for all.