New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on Wednesday that the coronavirus stimulus deal reached between the White House and the Senate would be “terrible” for the state.
Cuomo, whose state has become the epicenter of the crisis in the United States, said New York would get too little help from the mammoth bill, which the Senate is expected to approve later on Wednesday.
“The Senate is considering a $2 trillion bill, which is quote-unquote ‘relief’ for business, individuals and governments,” Cuomo said during his daily briefing. “It would really be terrible for the state of New York.”
“What does it mean for New York state?” the governor asked. “It means $3.8 billion. $3.8 billion sounds like a lot of money, but we’re looking at a revenue shortfall of [as much as] $15 billion. 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.”
New York City, specifically, Cuomo said, will only receive $1.3 billion in the stimulus deal, which he called “a drop in the bucket, as to need.”
“I spoke to our House congressional delegation this morning, I said to them ‘this doesn’t do it.’ I understand the Senate theory and the Republican theory but we need the House to make adjustments,” Cuomo said, noting that the House’s bill, in contrast, gave the state $17 billion.
“We’re not a big-spending state. I cut taxes every year,” Cuomo added. “I have the lowest growth rate of the state budget in modern political history. We are frugal and we are efficient. I’m telling you these numbers don’t work and I told the House members that we really need their help.”
Cuomo’s remarks were notable for several reasons.
The New York governor’s daily briefings on the crisis in his state are carried live on cable television and have increased his visibility in the country and influence in the Democratic Party.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier Wednesday that her caucus would be reviewing the Senate bill. It’s possible there could be opposition to moving the bill quickly because of Cuomo’s criticisms. It’s also possible additional bills that Congress is already contemplating to respond to the crisis could move forward with more help for New York.
Cuomo’s comments were also notable because another New Yorker, Sen. Charles Schumer (D), led Senate Democrats in negotiating with Republicans on the bill.
The Senate package, announced early Wednesday morning, includes $150 billion for state and local governments along with $500 billion for corporate liquidity through the Federal Reserve and $367 billion in small business loans.