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Cuomo describes Trump meeting as 'productive'

Cuomo describes Trump meeting as 'productive'
© getty: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Denver mayor flies to Mississippi for Thanksgiving after advising against travel MORE (D) said Wednesday that he had a "productive" meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE on Tuesday at the White House. 

Cuomo said that despite his political differences with the president, the two were able get on the same page regarding additional funding for state governments, something that the governor has been vocal about in recent weeks.

"We have to have state funding," Cuomo reiterated in his coronavirus press briefing Wednesday.

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State and local governments are being squeezed amid the coronavirus crisis, spending their funds on health care supplies and to help residents financially harmed by stay-at-home orders while bringing in little money due to the economic shut down. 

The National Governor's Association, of which Cuomo is vice chairman, wrote to congressional leadership on Tuesday requesting an additional $500 billion for "states and territories, in direct federal aid that allows for replacement of lost revenue."

"These continuing losses will force states and territories not only to make drastic cuts to the programs we depend on to provide economic security, educational opportunities, and public safety, but the national economic recovery will be dramatically hampered," the group wrote.

Leaders around the country such as Cuomo have said that the additional aid is key for states, allowing them to ramp up their testing capabilities in the hopes of reopening their economies safely and effectively.

Funding for state governments is likely to be a key issue as lawmakers look toward negotiating a fourth coronavirus stimulus package. Trump has also expressed support for helping cash-strapped states. 

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Cuomo also said in the briefing that the president agreed to waive the cost-share requirement that usually comes with aid from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an issue that the governors wrote to congressional leadership about at the beginning of April.

"FEMA is authorized to increase the federal cost-share to 100 percent for emergency work, including Direct Federal Assistance 'if warranted by the needs of a disaster,'" the group wrote at the time.

FEMA guidelines state that when a federal disaster has been declared in a state, "the Federal government can provide up to 75 percent of the cost," with the state paying the other 25 percent. With the waiver, states are now exempt from this when it comes to coronavirus-related FEMA aid.