Cuomo calls $2T stimulus ‘reckless,’ says it fails to meet New York’s needs
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday said the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by the Senate late Wednesday did not meet the needs of the Empire State, calling the bill “irresponsible” and “reckless.”
The $5 billion included in the bill for the state hardest hit by the coronavirus is “earmarked only for COVID virus expenses, which means it does absolutely nothing for us in terms of lost revenue for this state,” Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus press briefing. He said the lost revenue from an essentially shuttered economy is “the bigger problem.”
“The congressional action in my opinion simply failed to address the governmental need,” Cuomo added, saying “I’ve spoken to all the officials involved, I spoke to our House delegation I spoke to our senators … I’m disappointed, I find it irresponsible, I find it reckless.”
The governor said that while “emotion is a luxury and we don’t have the luxury right now of being emotional … when this is over I promise I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.”
“This was the time to put politics aside and partisanship aside,” Cuomo continued. “This is the time for governmental leaders to stop making excuses and just do your job … you know the places in this nation that have the most intense problems, address the places that need the help.”
“I was shocked that they were so irresponsible in addressing the state and the city need,” Cuomo later said while taking questions from reporters. “They just did not address the revenue shortfall … they know we have to fund education, they’ll all say in their speeches ‘education, education, it’s our children’s future’ and then they do absolutely nothing in their legislation.”
The wide-ranging funding package passed Wednesday night included $1,200 checks for each American making up to $75,000, as well as a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund, $377 billion in small business aid, $100 billion for hospitals and $200 billion for other “domestic priorities.”
The unanimous passage of the bill, 96-0, came after five days of almost around-the-clock negotiations.
Cuomo had also blasted the package Wednesday before its late-night passage, calling it a “terrible” bill for New York and saying the figure “sounds like a lot of money, but we’re looking at a revenue shortfall of [as much as] $15 billion,” he said. “This response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion, and it will probably cost us several billion dollars when we’re done.”
Cuomo’s fellow New York Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who led Democratic negotiations on the bill, pushed back against the governor’s criticism yesterday.
“He’s disappointed that it only got $5 billion 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, adding that the Senate would likely take up a fourth relief package, offering a chance for more state money.
Cuomo has become one of the public faces of the state-level coronavirus response, conducting daily briefings and often offering sharp criticism of the federal response.
As of Thursday New York state had reported 385 deaths from the virus, with the majority, 280, in New York City. Overall, the state reported 37,258 total cases statewide and 21,393 cases in the city.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed a quick passage of the bill in the House on Friday and President Trump has vowed to sign it.