During a press conference on Monday, Cuomo blasted the contents of the package, saying, “This bill that they passed in Washington has several relief funds for certain groups and certain functions in this state.”
“It is three drops of water in a bucket. And the bucket is empty. And the bucket is called a $15 billion state deficit. So it’s almost inconsequential,” he added.
“What we need to do in terms of rent relief, and small business relief, and lost revenue from Covid, and expenses of Covid vaccination process, this federal government’s bill does virtually nothing for us. And the big fight on this bill where Washington failed was what was called state and local funding. They dropped that from the bill. And that’s what would have provided economic relief to the states and local governments on a meaningful level.”
Finally, he charged that the bill “comes nowhere near to addressing any of the needs that we’re facing.”
While Cuomo noted that the bill provides funding for schools and rent relief, he said, “They make it sound like they accomplished something. They accomplished nothing.”
He continued, “When you compare that to the need, it’s telling starving family, ‘Well, I gave you two pieces of bread.’ Yeah, thank you very much.”
Watch the video below:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo trashes federal relief bill: "They accomplished nothing… It's telling a starving family, 'Well I gave you two pieces of bread.'" pic.twitter.com/TCZrXJ52Cs
— The Hill (@thehill) December 28, 2020
The $892 billion package contains more aid for small businesses, assistance to renters, funding for coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and vaccine distribution. It also extends several federal unemployment programs and provides an extra $300 per week on top of state unemployment benefits.
Additionally, it will send $600 stimulus checks to individuals who earn less than $75,000 a year.
However, absent from the bill was a provision to provide aid to state and local governments — a longtime Democratic demand for a relief bill. Republicans have opposed the measure, and after hours of negotiations, it was ultimately not included in the bill.
Also not included in the bill was liability protection for businesses, which Republicans were pushing for, but Democrats opposed.
President-elect Joe Biden expressed his belief that Congress will have to pass another relief bill once he is sworn in as he called the latest bill an “important down payment on what’s going to have to be done beginning the end of January into February.”
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