Cuomo, Schumer Spar Over COVID-19 Stimulus
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ripped the federal stimulus plan as inadequate for New York, the country’s epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.
Cuomo said the plan would be “really terrible” because, by his calculations, it only allocates $3.8 billion dollars to his state (or maybe even less than that). That's not even close to what New York, the new epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., needs to combat the coronavirus.
Cuomo estimated the state has already spent $1 billion in its battle against COVID-19, and the cost could be as high as $7 billion. The revenue hole in the state budget could be as much as $15 billion or more, he said.
The governor called on members of the state's House delegation for help. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who doesn't always see eye-to-eye with Cuomo, not only sided with him on this issue but went even further, calling the stimulus deal "immoral."
De Blasio said the city would be getting only $1 billion, despite having one-third of the country’s virus cases. He said he planned to appeal directly to President Trump, a native New Yorker, to “fix this situation.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the state's senior senator, waved off criticism from Cuomo, saying that by his count, New York would be receiving $100 billion, once all the benefits are calculated, including $4 billion for the MTA alone.
"(T)his bill has been very, very good for New York," Schumer said. "...Is it going to balance all of Cuomo’s budget? No, it’ll balance more than half of it."
Schumer also noted that the Senate will likely take up a phase-four coronavirus relief package that will give lawmakers another chance to secure economic aid for their home states.