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Pallone Joins Telephone Town Hall Hosted By AARP

May 21, 2020
Press Release

Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today participated in a telephone town hall hosted by AARP. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act that includes new protections to keep nursing home patients safe, increases funding for SNAP and other nutrition programs, delivers another round of direct economic stimulus checks to most Americans, and provides funding to state and local governments.

“I am grateful to AARP’s 22,000 members in my district and all those who took the time to join this telephone town hall to share their thoughts and ask questions. The health and economic wellbeing of New Jerseyans is my top priority and hearing directly from my constituents allows me to be a better advocate and legislator,” Congressman Pallone said. “The Heroes Act contains essential provisions to protect the health of our seniors and ensure they have access to economic support during this difficult time. This bill also requires that facilities offer virtual visits for family members who otherwise cannot see loved ones in person.

“We cannot stop the spread of this virus without a national testing strategy. That’s why I fought for provisions in the Heroes Act to bolster COVID-19 testing and contact tracing and ensure that COVID-19 treatment is free for everyone. AARP has served as a critical partner during this time, and I want to thank them for hosting the call today and for their hard work on behalf of New Jersey,” Pallone concluded.

“We’re honored Congressman Pallone was able to join our Telephone Town Hall and connect with New Jerseyans for an informative discussion on the coronavirus in our state,” said Evelyn Liebman, AARP New Jersey’s Director of Advocacy. “We’re pleased the Congressman could share insight on the next coronavirus relief bill, assistance for nursing homes, and federal support for state and local governments. We applaud the work Congressman Pallone is doing to pass bipartisan legislation that will benefit the most vulnerable New Jerseyans.”

The Heroes Act includes provisions and additional funding to make nursing home facilities safer and provide economic assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • $150 million for States to establish and implement strike teams to deploy to skilled nursing facilities or nursing facilities within 72 hours of three residents or employees being diagnosed or suspected with COVID-19.
  • Incentives for nursing facilities to create COVID-19-specific facilities and safety and quality protections for patients.
  • A provision to ensure skilled nursing facilities provide a means for residents to conduct “televisitation” with loved ones while in-person visits are not possible.
  • A requirement for the Department of Health and Human Services to collect data on COVID-19 in nursing homes and to publicly report demographic data on cases.
  • A raise in the SNAP maximum benefit by 15% and an additional $10 billion to support anticipated increases in the program’s participation.
  • A second round of direct payments of $1,200 per family member for most Americans.
  • $500 billion for state governments and $375 billion for local governments to assist with the impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. If the legislation is signed into law, it is estimated that New Jersey would receive $16.6 billion and cities and towns in New Jersey would receive $11.2 billion.

Over 1,500 people in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District joined the telephone town hall. Audio is available here.