Although he claimed his Wednesday meeting with President Donald Trump was not politically driven, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued scathing remarks afterward against some of Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, declaring “good government” extinct in America.
Transportation funds and further relief resources for the state and local governments were the topics of his meeting with Trump, according to Cuomo. While he acknowledged disagreements with Trump, he used his post-meeting press conference at the National Press Club to mainly attack Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Congressional Republicans for partisan bickering as the United States still grapples with COVID-19.
“Nobody elected anyone to engage in partisan politics. There was a time when as a nation we were smart enough to say, you want to play politics? That’s what a campaign is for,” an exacerbated Cuomo said. “Don’t play your politics at the expense of the citizens you represent. There is no good government concept anymore. It’s politics 365 days a year, from the moment they’re elected to the moment they run again, it’s all politics – and that is poison.”
Cuomo added that he believes the president is interested in stimulating the economy getting large-scale infrastructure projects up and running. According to the governor, his conversation with the president just minutes earlier stayed focused on “supercharging” the economy and reopening regions.
“We need the jobs now more than ever,” Cuomo said.
The Cross Harbor Tunnel and the $30 billion Gateway Project are two such projects the governor trumpeted. The Gateway Project would ensure train service through Amtrak, a federal agency, would be maintained through the northeast.
The states of New York and New Jersey have agreed to pay 50% of these projects which would double capacity through the tunnels.
Cuomo also cited, as other federal funding opportunities, the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway, which still pending approval and could start almost immediately; and the LaGuardia AirTrain, which is awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval.
Repeatedly during his May 27 press conference, Cuomo lambasted Congressional Republicans for exercising hypocrisy in opposing federal relief for New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. He again pointed out that New York state contributes the most federal tax dollars of any state in the country, while McConnell’s home state of Kentucky gains the third-highest amount of federal aid annually.
“Why do they have their hand out every year? They’re against redistribution of wealth, that’s what they all say,” Cuomo said, turning back to McConnell and other representatives opposed to what McConnell deemed “blue state bailouts.”
“Yeah, you’re against redistribution unless you’re taking money. Then it’s fine,” the governor bristled.
Cuomo questioned whether the national economy could make a rebound without the gross domestic product generated by New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey — which he said would be severely impacted without more federal relief.
Almost all regions excluding the New York City metro have begun the first phase of reopening which includes construction and manufacturing industries. As of Wednesday, New York had a total of 73 deaths from coronavirus, a small figure compared to numbers in April when the pandemic hit its peak in the state.
Meanwhile, the United States surpassed 100,000 total COVID-19 fatalities.