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Cuomo Takes Case For Federal Aid To Washington

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo took his plea for more federal relief to Washington Wednesday. Speaking at the National Press Club, the Democrat said New York and other states hardest hit by the coronavirus also pay billions more dollars in taxes to the federal government than they get back. 

Cuomo called out leaders in red states, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Florida Senator Rick Scott, who say “blue states” should not get any more money.

“That’s a lie, they know that they take more money,” said Cuomo. “Senator McConnell has his hand out in the Senate, and he receives more money for his state than he puts in.”  

“Why should my state give a hand out to Senator Scott every year? ” Cuomo continued. “When they make it personal to New York, and they're lying, I’m going to point it out." 

New York is facing a $13 billion deficit partially due to a steep drop in revenues when the economy shut down to help curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Senator Scott, in a statement, says it’s Cuomo who is telling a lie about donor states and "taker" states to “distract from his failings as governor." Scott says he won’t use a health crisis to spend taxpayer money to “bail out poorly run states” like New York, and he accused Cuomo of “reckless, irresponsible fiscal management." Scott says Congress has already approved over a trillion dollars in federal relief to states and local governments dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cuomo met with President Donald Trump. The governor says the two avoided politics, and he made the case for increased federal funding on infrastructure, that he says will “supercharge” the economy. 

“It was a good conversation,” said Cuomo. “The president is from New York so he has a context for all of the things we are talking about.”

Projects include the long-stalled Gateway tunnel project that would replace deteriorating train tracks under the Hudson River from New York to New Jersey, linking the Northeast with the Southern United States. Trump has opposed federal funding for the project, which would also benefit Amtrak, in the past. Cuomo also wants federal funding to expand the Second Avenue subway to Harlem.  

The governor did not say whether Trump made any commitments to fund the projects.

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