Schumer waves off Cuomo criticism that he didn’t deliver for New York with coronavirus stimulus
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) at a press conference late Wednesday waved off pointed criticism that his home-state governor, Andrew Cuomo, aimed at the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier in the day.
“He’s disappointed that it only got 5 billion dollars for the state government, but there are small businesses in New York who need money, there are unemployed people who need money, there are hospitals who need money, there are nurses who need money,” Schumer said.
“We got $4 billion for the [Metropolitan Transit Authority], just what they asked for,” he continued. “So this bill has been very, very good for New York.”
Schumer said the package, which President Trump is expected to sign into law, would — when all benefits are counted — provide $100 billion for New York state.
He said Cuomo (D) is upset because he’s facing a state budget deficit but argued that the Senate bill would help make up for half that deficit.
“Is it going to balance all of Cuomo’s budget? No, it’ll balance more than half of it,” Schumer said.
Cuomo earlier in the day blasted Schumer’s bipartisan deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as “terrible” for New York state.
“The Senate is considering a $2 trillion bill, which is quote-unquote ‘relief’ for business, individuals and governments,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing. “It would really be terrible for the state of New York.”
Cuomo complained the bill, which the Senate passed by unanimous vote late Wednesday, doesn’t provide enough money for New York, where more than 26,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
“What does it mean for New York state?” Cuomo asked Wednesday morning. “It means $3.8 billion. Three point eight billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but we’re looking at a revenue shortfall of [as much as] $15 billion.”
Cuomo’s national profile has soared since New York became the country’s epicenter for the nation’s coronavirus pandemic, and his handling of the crisis has earned good reviews. Some Democrats are even speculating that his stock as a future presidential candidate is on the rise.
His sharply critical comments about Schumer’s deal, which the Democratic leader negotiated for five intense days, hit like a bombshell.
Schumer, however, appeared more tired than annoyed when asked about Cuomo’s comments after the vote. He noted that the Senate will likely take up a fourth coronavirus relief package that will give lawmakers another chance to secure economic aid for their home states.