New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during his daily news conference amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 20, 2020 in New York City.
Bennett Raglin | Getty Images
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a $2 trillion stimulus bill designed to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the country “irresponsible” and “reckless.”
“The congressional action in my opinion simply failed to address the governmental need,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany on Thursday.
The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously late last night, helps small businesses and unemployment insurance, “and that is a good thing,” Cuomo said.
But it “did not help local governments or state governments, and it did not address the governmental loss,” he said. “And the federal officials, the ones who are being honest, will admit that.”
“I’m disappointed, I said I was disappointed. I find it irresponsible, I find it reckless,” Cuomo said. “When this is over, I promise you I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.”
The Democratic governor, whose state has quickly become the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, lambasted U.S. lawmakers, saying “this is not a time to point fingers.”
“This is the time for government leaders to stop making excuses and just do your job. Do your job,” Cuomo said.
The state has already spent $1 billion fighting the pandemic and estimates it will cost $10 billion to $15 billion in lost revenue, Cuomo said. The $5 billion that his state receives from the bill – the largest relief package in U.S. history – is not nearly enough, he said.
That amount, he added, is “earmarked only for COVID virus expenses. Which means it does absolutely nothing for us in terms of lost revenue to the state,” which Cuomo called “the bigger problem.”
“Now is a time to actually step up, do the right thing and do your job. And they haven’t as far as I’m concerned when it comes to the governmental need,” he said.
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