‘What does it mean for New York state? It means $3.8 billion…’
New York would get too little help from the bill, Cuomo said, despite the fact that New York’s cases are growing fast than any other state.
“What does it mean for New York state? It means $3.8 billion,” the Democratic governor said during a press conference.
While the state’s portion of the stimulus funding may sound like a lot of money, “we’re looking at a revenue shortfall of [as much as] $15 billion,” Cuomo added. “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.”
The funding the bill allocates to New York is “a drop in the bucket, as to need,” Cuomo continued.
However, Cuomo’s criticism is significant given the role his ally, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, played in negotiating the package.
Cuomo evidently had no problem throwing Schumer under the bus, saying he is now turning to House Democrats to secure the aid New York needs.
“I spoke to our House congressional delegation this morning, I said to them ‘This doesn’t do it,’” Cuomo said, noting that the bill the House proposed would have given New York $17 billion. “I understand the Senate theory and the Republican theory, but we need the House to make adjustments.”
Schumer responded and admitted the bill could have been better.
“Like all compromise legislation, this bill is far from perfect—but it now does much more for this state, its people and its future than where we began,” Schumer said in a statement.
The House is expected to vote on the package on Friday morning, and Cuomo said he will lobby House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the other Democrats in order to secure additional funding.
“I’m telling you these numbers don’t work,” he said, “and I told the House members we need their help.”
Cuomo, whose own presidential aspirations may be on the rise of late, has used New York’s status as an epicenter of the current health crisis to amplify his longstanding vendetta with President Donald Trump.
New York already faced a budget shortfall prior to the onset of the virus due to reckless spending on social programs paired with an exodus of wealth residents seeking relief from its excessive tax rates.
Among the items neglected by New York’s spending spree, however, were respirators, which a 2015 audit found a critical shortage of in the state.