WASHINGTON — Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a stinging rebuke of the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package on Wednesday, saying the hard-hit Empire State had been shortchanged.
“It would be really terrible for the state of New York,” Cuomo said at his daily press conference, claiming New York State would receive just under $4 billion in funding from the huge package.
Cuomo said the figure was a paltry sum compared to the estimated $15 billion in lost revenue New York budget officials estimate will hit the state budget.
The governor said, “$3.8 billion sounds like a lot of money, but we’re looking at a revenue shortfall of $9, $10, $15 billion dollars.”
The governor’s office revised that figure to $3.1 billion on Wednesday afternoon — Cuomo communications director Dani Lever claiming the state of New York, which is facing more than 30,000 cases, had been left behind.
“As a percent of our total state budget — 1.9 percent — it is the second lowest amount in the nation,” she said.
“Literally 48 states get a higher percentage in funding than New York State. For example, South Dakota gets 17.9 percent.”
Both Cuomo and White House officials have sounded the alarm over worsening conditions in New York, with 60 percent of all new U.S. COVID-19 cases now coming from the Big Apple.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D. NY) touted the package as a major win for New York after days of marathon negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ended with a deal in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Schumer estimated New York would receive more than $40 billion worth of federal funding, but that includes $15 billion in unemployment insurance and $15 billion in direct checks for taxpayers — money that all Americans will get — plus a $3.8 billion bailout of the MTA, and tens of billions of dollars in hospital funding.
“This is a dramatic and significant shot in the arm for New York in a time of great need,” Schumer said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
“When you add all that up, New York does much better than any other state,” he claimed.
But Cuomo said a direct relief fund for state and local governments ravaged by the virus — which Schumer said would deliver “at least $5.8 billion to New York” — was not enough.
“This is drop in the bucket in terms of needs,” Cuomo said before endorsing the behemoth bailout proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which Cuomo said would make $17 billion available for New York.
“We are frugal and we are efficient. I am telling you, these numbers don’t work. I told the House members we really need their help.”
President Trump on Tuesday declared he wants the economy back up and running by Easter Sunday on April 12 but Cuomo earlier warned the peak of infections in New York may still be 21 days away.