Joe Biden has just been sworn in as the president of the United States, but he's already facing the wrath of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Cuomo was the thorn in the side of President Trump and Washington lawmakers the past year with his coronavirus demands. At the beginning of the pandemic, New York was hit hardest by the virus and it continues to impact the state. Cuomo says it's the federal government's responsibility to step in and help.
“If Washington doesn’t provide New York state with our $15 billion fair share, we will pursue litigation,” Cuomo said during his annual budget address in Albany on Tuesday. “The legal crisis is legally and ethically Washington’s liability. President Trump is gone. But the damage to New York remains. The COVID assault on New York state in the spring was due to federal negligence."
If he doesn't get the funds he needs, the governor warned, he'll be forced to cut Medicaid by $600 million, and slash state education funding by $2 billion.
“The new federal government didn’t cause the damage, but they are legally, ethically, and politically responsible for correcting it,” he insisted.
The New York Post called Cuomo's bluff.
"But Cuomo’s complaint about not getting enough federal funding was undercut by his own 300-page budget book — at least when it comes to education," they write. "The budget plan lauded billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid to New York approved last year, allowing overall funding for education to increase by $2.1 billion or 7.1 percent — without the additional $15 billion he’s demanding."
This isn't the first time that Gov. Cuomo has threatened government officials. In more than one of his Emmy-winning coronavirus press conferences, Cuomo told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he needs to bail out New York because it would be "un-American" not to do so, seeming as New York has "bailed out" Washington every year.
"Just give me my money back," Cuomo said at the time.
Here was Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) response.
As a result of the #CoronavirusPandemic, our country has experienced unprecedented economic devastation. But that is not a reason for states like Texas to bailout states that have been fiscally irresponsible since long before this crisis hit. pic.twitter.com/egc5SEcrFu— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 6, 2020
"A number of states have been highly irresponsible and have not lived within their means," the senator explained. "And have dug insupportable pension holes that preexisted this crisis."
Cuomo wrote his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," by the way, while New York was still in the middle of the pandemic.