New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking on Republican lawmakers who have made comments about “blue state bailouts” during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo again took on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and added first-term Sen. Rick Scott (Florida) to his line of fire.
Both said providing federal aid to states hit hard by the crisis would amount to a bailout and some states should file for bankruptcy.
Cuomo again made note that New York pays out $29 billion more annually to the federal government than it gets back, while Kentucky takes $37 billion, and Florida takes $30 billion more than it pays into the federal pot. (See first two images above.)
“Why they would even want to go down this road when the facts damn everything they’re saying,” Cuomo said. “I know it’s hard to communicate facts in this environment. I know a lot of the filters don’t communicate facts. They communicate spin.
“Everybody has their own spin. But these are still political facts that are not political theater, right? New York state bails them out every year.”
Cuomo then went on to address McConnell and Scott directly, reminding them of the financial realities.
“Sen. Mitch McConnell, you are bailing out New York when every year you take out more from the kitty, the federal pot, $37 billion more than you put in?” he said. “Who is bailing out whom?
"Sen. Scott, in Florida, you’re going to bail us out? You take out $30 billion more than every year than you pay in. How dare they?
“How dare they when those are the facts?” Cuomo continued. “How long are you going to play the American people and assume they’re stupid? They’re not. And they can add and they know facts.”
Once again, Cuomo dared McConnell and the Senate to pass a bill that will permit states to declare bankruptcy, “even if you got around the constitutional question (of whether it is legal or possible).”
“If it wasn’t just political rhetoric and personal vitriol, then pass a law that will allow states to declare bankruptcy. I dare them to do that and get the bill signed by the president,” he said. “Now (McConnell) is rallying partisan troopers such as Sen. Rick Scott.
“They say ‘we’re going to bail them out?’ It’s we, and it’s them, and that’s not right.”
Cuomo also made note that the federal government is using federal funds to support hotels, restaurants, airlines, big corporations, and public companies, rather than state and local governments.
“You see what they want to fund. I want to fund the police, firefighters, nurses, school teachers, and the food banks,” Cuomo said. “They want to fund corporate America. I say let’s fund working Americans.
“It’s all smoke and mirrors to avoid American people seeing the reality of whose pocket they want to put money in instead of who the state and local governments want to fund.
“You have human suffering, people are dying, and you still can’t stop the politics even in this moment?” he added. “That’s what this is about and why it’s so disturbing on a fundamental level.”
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