Joni Ernst Introduces the 'Cuomo' Amendment to Infrastructure Bill

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Posted: Aug 04, 2021 8:15 PM
Joni Ernst Introduces the 'Cuomo' Amendment to Infrastructure Bill

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

In light of an investigation finding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) engaged in sexual harassment in the workplace, a violation of state and federal law, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Tuesday filed amendment 2355 to the  infrastructure bill. 

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, none of the funds appropriate or otherwise made available under this Act may be provided to any State in which the governor of such State has been funded, by the relevant State or Federal authorities, to have sexually harassed employees while holding the position of governor," the amendment, also known as the "Cuomo" amendment, reads.

The senator is herself a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

"A sitting governor who harasses and abuses women on his own staff and members of law enforcement must be held accountable, and shouldn’t be getting a dime of Iowa taxpayer money. Here’s a good place to start," Sen. Ernst said. 

If the amendment passes, and the infrastructure bill is signed into law, New York will not be receiving any of the funds.

There are those Democratic figures who have called on Cuomo to resign, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, both who represent New York. 

President Joe Biden did repeat his call for Cuomo to resign when asked Tuesday at a press conference, though when asked if Cuomo should be impeached, if he doesn't resign, Biden said "let's take one thing at a time here," emphasizing "I think he should resign."

However, as Madeline highlighted, few Democratic governors have called on him to do so. The Democratic governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island issued a joint statement to do so.

The legislation, which has been hailed as bipartisan, and which last week the Senate voted 67-32 to take up, comes with a price tag of $1.2 trillion. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was a key vote in favor. 

In addition to the hefty cost, it has been criticized for including many liberal pet projects, as Katie highlighted earlier this week, once the 2,072 page bill was finalized. It's particularly similar to a Green New Deal.

One concern is to how the bill wants to address the issue of "gender identity."

As March for Life Action's Tom McClusky warned in a column for Townhall, it could lead to abortion funding, especially because it's been linked to the massive reconciliation bill which purposefully left out Hyde Amendment protections.