House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday sent a letter to New York's congressional Democrats, slamming Gov. Andrew Cuomo's claims that the Empire State would not receive enough funds in the next Wuhan coronavirus relief bill. The letter is considered a "rare rebuke," especially considering the speaker's close ties to the governor.
Cuomo has repeatedly called for $15 billion to close to the state's budget gap.
“The state needs $15 billion, and that’s the actual need and that’s what we should get and if we don’t get $15 billion I will be disappointed and I don’t think it’s fair," Cuomo said earlier in the week.
The proposal Pelosi crafted alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would provide $50 billion, which is far in excess of what Cuomo wanted. Because of that, Pelosi said the governor's budget concerns have been "addressed."
"Overall, New York state will receive over $50 billion in state and local funding, and more than $20 billion in additional funding to support families' health, financial security and well-being," Pelosi wrote in the letter, obtained by the Albany Times Union.
Of that, $12.6 billion will be used to bail the state out, $10.6 billion will go to local governments, $8.8 billion will go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, The New York Daily News reported. Another $12.3 billion will go towards education, $3.1 billion will be allocated for Medicaid, $418 million will be used for state airports, $1.8 for childcare services, $441 million to address homelessness and $484 million for PPP loans.
"We sadly observe over 1.5 million coronavirus cases, nearly 45,000 deaths, and hundreds of thousands of job losses in New York," Pelosi wrote. "Please know that your concerns are being addressed in ways that you have advanced and with the enthusiastic advocacy of Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand."
New York is slated to receive the third most in COVID relief funding, following California and Texas.
Pelosi's letter comes after members of the New York delegation penned a letter asking for additional funding in the midst of a budget shortage. It also comes on the heels of one of Cuomo's top aides admitting that the number of nursing home deaths in the state was "underreported" by as much as 50 percent.