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Cuomo: ‘Too early’ to tell if Ocasio-Cortez will help New York

Cuomo: ‘Too early’ to tell if Ocasio-Cortez will help New York
© Greg Nash

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Friday it was “too early” to tell if progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far New Consensus co-founder discusses proposal for Biden to use Fed to sidestep Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) will help the Empire State in Congress.

“It’s early yet to find out what she actually produces,” Cuomo said after a news conference calling on Congress to scrap a part of the new federal tax code that disproportionately impacts New Yorkers.

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“You know, New York is very basic in our approach, we’re sort of, ‘What have you brought home for us lately?’ I think it’s a little early in the session yet for the evaluation,” he added, according to Reuters.

Ocasio-Cortez shot to national prominence last year after defeating former longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) in a Democratic primary. Many considered Crowley to be a future potential House Speaker, and her win irked some in the Democratic establishment.

The outspoken progressive has wasted no time since entering Congress in pushing the party to adopt a series of more liberal policies, including her "Green New Deal" to tackle climate change and a 70 percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million. 

Cuomo and Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, most recently butted heads over Amazon’s plans to build a second headquarters in Queens.

Ocasio-Cortez panned the deal, saying tax incentives to support the move were unnecessary given the tech giant’s immense wealth and claiming low-income residents would be unable to afford the increased cost of living caused by the move. Cuomo, joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), said the new headquarters would help make New York a tech hub on the East Coast and bring billions of dollars into the city.

“She was against it, a number of people were against it, but she did not have an official government role. There were people who had an official government role who were against it and I think they have more of the liability,” Cuomo said. 

However, Cuomo said he did not agree with the estimation that Ocasio-Cortez is pushing the party too far to the left, citing several progressive platforms that found widespread support in New York, including a $15 minimum wage and marriage equality.

“We have a significant Republican population,” Cuomo said. “I’m in my third term, so you can be a progressive and you can win with Democrats and Republicans. So it depends on how it's done.”