Tennessee Congressional Delegation Urges President Trump To Approve Federal Assistance For Tennessee

Monday, March 30, 2020

United States Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn and Reps. Tim Burchett, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green, David Kustoff, Phil Roe, M.D., and John Rose on Monday urged President Trump to quickly approve Governor Bill Lee’s request for additional federal assistance for the state of Tennessee to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“During the last two weeks, the federal government has approved more than $2 trillion to help keep payroll checks coming, to relieve the financial burden on Americans and to assist states and cities with the cost of and consequences of containing COVID-19. Governor Lee has now asked for further specific assistance under the nation’s disaster relief laws, and we support his request.

“The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the state to take unprecedented actions to protect Tennesseans and slow the spread of the virus. As of March 28, there have been 18,388 tests performed, with 1,373 confirmed cases, 6 deaths and 118 hospitalization across 58 counties. We anticipate those numbers will continue to rise.  …This disaster has already, and will continue to place a significant financial burden on the State, local government, and impacted individuals.”

The full text of the letter is below and available online here.

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we are writing to express our support for Governor Bill Lee’s request to declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020.

During the last two weeks, the federal government has approved more than $2 trillion to help keep payroll checks coming, to relieve the financial burden on Americans and to assist states and cities with the cost of and consequences of containing COVID-19. Governor Lee has now asked for further specific assistance under the nation’s disaster relief laws, and we support his request.

The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the state to take unprecedented actions to protect Tennesseans and slow the spread of the virus. As of March 28, there have been 18,388 tests performed, with 1,373 confirmed cases, 6 deaths and 118 hospitalization across 58 counties. We anticipate those numbers will continue to rise.

This disaster has already, and will continue to place a significant financial burden on the State, local government, and impacted individuals. Governor Lee has already issued seven Executive Orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing a State of Emergency, deploying 300 members of the Tennessee National Guard to support testing, forming a Coronavirus Task Force to lead Tennessee’s response, prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more, and prohibited non-essential medical procedures. Additionally, 25 counties and 34 individual cities have also declared a local state of emergency and while schools are closed the Tennessee Department of Education has established 800 sites across the state where children can receive two meals a day.

However, Tennessee needs additional resources. Governor Lee has submitted a request for Public and Individual Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, and approval to federally fund the deployment of Tennessee National Guard members in support of Tennessee’s COVID-19 response, under Title 32.

We strongly urge you to approve Governor Lee’s request, and we hope you will consider our State’s request as soon as possible. Our offices can provide you with any additional information should you have any questions.

 


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