Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday criticized U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments favoring bankruptcy for states rather than direct aid payments.
McConnell, in an interview with radio show host Hugh Hewitt, said he would prefer states “use the bankruptcy route” instead of being included in another aid package from Washington.
McConnell’s office has referred to more aid for states as a “blue state bailout.” This led to a rebuke from Cuomo hours later in a radio interview with WAMC.
“That is one of the saddest, really dumb comments of all time,” Cuomo said, adding sarcastically, “OK, let’s have all the states declare bankruptcy. That’s the way to bring the economy back.”
He continued, “That’s how you want to reopen by bankrupting the states? I mean, it’s just a really dumb statement.”
Cuomo, along with Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, is seeking a $500 billion aid package for states. He has sought to highlight the bipartisan push, which is being made through the National Governors Association. Cuomo is vice chairman; Hogan is chairman.
Cuomo has been seeking billions of dollars in aid for the state and local governments in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis. New York has already received about $5.5 billion in aid from the federal government. But Cuomo points to the lost tax revenue, which could reach as high as $10 billion this month alone.
Cuomo has said schools and health care could be on the chopping in New York if more aid does not come for New York. The governor's budget director, Robert Mujica, said Wednesday that New York so far has spent $2.8 billion responding to the pandemic.