New York Gov.Andrew Cuomoon Tuesday again blasted the federal government for failing to provide relief for state and local governments amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, sayingNew York City’sdeficit is “Donald Trump’s deficit.”
“We have tremendous losses because of COVID, we’re not liable for them,” Cuomo said. New York City has a $9 billion budget deficit and the state’s is $30 billion.
“I’m not accepting liability,” Cuomo continued. “I’m not accepting the premise that New York City or New York State should pay.”
He added: “We didn’t do anything wrong. The federal government should pay. The federal government was wrong.”
Cuomo noted that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol controls the nation’s borders at airports. He said that the federal government “missed that the virus went from China to Europe.”
“How is New York City going to solve the deficit? We’re not. It’s Donald Trump’s deficit,” Cuomo coninued. “New York City, New York state, is not going to pay.”
Cuomo also said he spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday on her work on coronavirus relief legislation.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revived talks Monday as they sought to break the impasse that has stalled relief legislation since the CARES Act passed in late March. The pair spoke again Tuesday and agreed to talk on Wednesday.
House Democrats unveiled a scaled-down Heroes Act Monday, which included $436 billion in emergency aid for state and local governments, down from $1 trillion in the original bill.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the biggest “stumbling block” in aid negotiations has consistently been state and local relief. The Republicans’ package included no new aid for state and local governments.
But during meetings in August, Mnuchin said the administration offered $150 billion more in funding.
Democrats rejected that offer, contending that without more federal funding, state and local governments — which combined employ about23.2 million essential workers— will be forced to lay off employees and cut essential services. Republicans have argued it’s a “blue state bailout” for governments they say were languishing financially before the pandemic hit.
“We’re not going to bail out cities that have been poorly run for a long time,” Meadows said.
Fox New’s Megan Henney contributed to this report.