Jersey Shore 4th District Congressman Chris Smith (R - Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer), who is the ranking member of the House Global Health Subcommittee, was among those voting 'Yes' to an emergency CDC funding bill nearly a week after making a push for this to happen.

The House of Representatives and Senate have now passed extensive, bipartisan legislation to stem the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and help fund the development of new testing, prevention and treatment methods.

“I am pleased to support and vote for this $8.3 billion emergency appropriations bill to provide an added infusion of funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies already working to protect US citizens,” Smith said in a statement. “This comprehensive bill, and the widespread support it received, will help expedite funding for testing, prevention and treatment. Prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure, and the better we can prevent and contain COVID-19 from spreading, the less impact it will have on our communities.”

The House approved the measure, HR 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, in a 415-2 vote on Wednesday night.

The Senate passed the House bill 96-1 on Thursday.

This legislation is now on its way to President Donald Trump for his signature and final enactment.

“The legislation will help support the development and manufacturing of vaccines and other medical supplies, as well as grants for state and local public health agencies and organizations,” Smith said.  “It also provides loans for affected small businesses, and funds evacuations and emergency preparedness activities at U.S. embassies and other State Department facilities, humanitarian assistance and support for health systems in the affected countries abroad.”

The Jersey Shore's 3rd District Congressman (Ocean and Burlington County) Andy Kim (D) also voted yes to the bill on Wednesday.

"Our communities face an impending crisis in the Coronavirus, and today (Wednesday) I voted to pass a bipartisan funding package to make sure our people on the front lines have the resources they need," Kim said in a Facebook post. "The funding I voted to pass reflects the real concerns and perspectives I heard from local leaders earlier this week. I’m going to keep listening to our experts on the ground and will continue to relay their needs to my colleagues to ensure that any further action can make an impact in keeping the people of New Jersey healthy."

Jersey Shore residents can find additional information at the State of New Jersey Health Dept. or county health department websites in Monmouth County and Ocean County.

You can also call health experts at NJ’s Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-222-1222.

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