Cuomo decries no federal aid for state, local governments

Photo by Tom Rivers – The American flag and a flag for the Albion Fire Department are lowered on April 18, 2020 at the firemen's memorial at Mount Albion Cemetery out of the respect for the victims of Covid-19. Gov. Cuomo reported today that 438 people died from Covid-19 on Wednesday in the state, bringing the total confirmed deaths in New York from the virus to 15,740.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2020 at 10:09 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo again today decried federal stimulus packages that don’t include funding to state and local governments for their operational aid, which is needed to pay teachers, firefighters, police officers and other critical public employees.

Congress has approved a new stimulus package for $484 billion, with $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses, $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers and $25 billion to facilitate and expand Covid-19 testing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested this will be the last big stimulus package, and states should consider bankruptcy due to their deep budget holes.

Cuomo, speaking during a news conference today in Albany, called McConnell’s suggestion, “one of the dumbest ideas of all time.”

The bigger states – New York, California and Illinois – are getting hit hard by Covid-19. They face much higher costs than other states in responding to the virus, and also have seen tax revenues plummet. Cuomo said if those states fail economically, “you will see a collapse of the national economy.”

He blamed McConnell, a Republican and Senate Majority Leader, for not helping those states because they are strongly Democratic, rather than Republican.

“I mean for crying out loud, if there was ever a time to put aside your pettiness,” Cuomo said.

The governor also said New York contributes $116 billion more in taxes to the federal than comes back to the state. Kentucky, however, receives $148 billion more in federal aid than it contributes.

“Senator McConnell, who is getting bailed out here?” Cuomo said. “It’s your state living on the money we generate.”

Cuomo is vice chairman of National Governors Association which has requested $500 billion in federal aid to states to help offset the drastic revenue losses to the states.

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