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New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer To Introduce Legislation Addressing Broken Supply Chain

RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The supply chain squeeze is causing delays and high prices.

A New Jersey lawmaker is looking for ways to fix the problems, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported Monday.

At Ramsey Hardware and Paint, customers come in with all sorts of questions. Owner Mark Gatto said the most popular one lately is, "Well, where is it?"

Broken links in the supply chain make it impossible to keep the shelves full. That means fewer options and higher prices.

The pandemic-induced problem is felt by businesses large and small.

Snow Joe makes lawn equipment, like snowblowers. Shipping delays and high shipping container costs mean price increases are passed along to customers.

"It's a very difficult environment. It's been constrained for a while now. Relief is needed," said Paul Riley, Snow Joe's Chief Operating Officer.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer toured Snow Joe's distribution center in Mahwah.

Gottheimer plans to introduce legislation that would put a federal supply chain czar in place and allow states to deploy unused COVID relief funds to tackle supply chain bottlenecks.

Gottheimer is also asking President Joe Biden to activate the National Guard to help offload certain supplies at backlogged ports and utilize non-combat military ships to move critical supplies to the U.S.

"And put them to work for critical goods, like pharmaceutical ingredients for what we need to fight COVID, like masks and other critical supplies, to help ease the supply chain," Gottheimer said.

In the meantime, many business owners expect the problem to get worse over the next six months. Back at Ramsey Hardware and Paint, a shipment of Christmas lights is delayed until Jan. 20.

Don't blame the Grinch. It might just be the broken supply chain.

CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report.

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