Cuomo: McConnell's bankruptcy idea 'really dumb'

ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo assailed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's suggestion that state and local governments should pursue bankruptcy rather than ask for more federal assistance, calling it "one of the really dumb ideas of all time." “For crying out loud, if there was ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness, your partisanship and this political lens you see this world through … now is the time,” he said during his daily briefing in the New York state Capitol on Thursday. “How irresponsible and how reckless.” “You want to see [the] market fall through the cellar — let New York state declare bankruptcy,” Cuomo said. The governor said tersely that he has not been in contact with McConnell, nor does he plan to reach out to him. McConnell has said he is reluctant to send a “blank check” to localities. His office issued a statement referring to local government assistance as “blue state bailouts,” although governors of both parties have lobbied for the funding. McConnell also drew a rebuke from longtime Long Island GOP Rep. Pete King, who tweeted that the Kentucky senator's remarks were “shameful and indefensible” and called McConnell the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate.” King is retiring from the House after his current term expires. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who attacked McConnell over the bankruptcy comments on Wednesday, doubled down during his daily press briefing on Thursday afternoon, saying that the revenue shortfalls his state faces because of its Covid-19 mitigation efforts apply to “many of our sister states, red and blue alike.” “Senator, if you are watching, remember that you are from the party of Abraham Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan; three American presidents who when faced with challenges found ways to meet those challenges, to be greater than the challenges, to rise up,” Murphy said. “They did not get small. They got big in that moment, and that is the challenge, senator, to you and to all leaders in this country.” Murphy has repeatedly said New Jersey will require federal block grants to stave off calamity, including “historic” layoffs for a huge swath of the state’s public workforce. Guidance from the federal Treasury Department for CARES Act funding distributed to state and local governments has put New Jersey in an even worse position, Murphy said. The guidance, issued on Thursday, specifically bars state and local governments from using the funds as a form of revenue replacement. Murphy said he’d received assurances that the funding would be flexible but that “those assurances apparently were empty." “Sadly, the message from Washington to our first responders and to our educators and to others on the frontlines is clear. As you work tirelessly to stop this pandemic, to keep people safe, our national leadership thinks you are not essential and that you should in fact fear for your jobs,” Murphy said. Murphy is a former diplomat who has largely refrained from taking direct shots at Republican officials over their response to the pandemic. Cuomo said congressional Democrats should have insisted on having aid for state and local governments in the most recent coronavirus stimulus bill, H.R. 266 (116). He has repeatedly lashed out at his fellow New Yorker, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the rest of the state's delegation for, in his view, negotiating a series of relief packages that shortchanges New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis with more than 250,000 confirmed cases and 15,000 deaths. Cuomo has been warning that New York is staring at across-the-board cuts of 20 percent or more to schools and other sectors without federal assistance. Cuomo also repurposed a line of argument that he’s used frequently during the Trump era, noting that New York residents pay more in taxes to the federal government than they receive back in the form of government programs and services. Red states like Kentucky, he noted, are net beneficiaries. “I don’t believe they want to fund state and local governments, and not to fund state and local governments is incredibly short-sighted,” Cuomo said, referring to Republican members of Congress. Sam Sutton contributed reporting.

Cuomo: McConnell's bankruptcy idea 'really dumb'

ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo assailed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's suggestion that state and local governments should pursue bankruptcy rather than ask for more federal assistance, calling it "one of the really dumb ideas of all time."

“For crying out loud, if there was ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness, your partisanship and this political lens you see this world through … now is the time,” he said during his daily briefing in the New York state Capitol on Thursday. “How irresponsible and how reckless.”

“You want to see [the] market fall through the cellar — let New York state declare bankruptcy,” Cuomo said.

The governor said tersely that he has not been in contact with McConnell, nor does he plan to reach out to him.

McConnell has said he is reluctant to send a “blank check” to localities. His office issued a statement referring to local government assistance as “blue state bailouts,” although governors of both parties have lobbied for the funding.

McConnell also drew a rebuke from longtime Long Island GOP Rep. Pete King, who tweeted that the Kentucky senator's remarks were “shameful and indefensible” and called McConnell the “Marie Antoinette of the Senate.” King is retiring from the House after his current term expires.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who attacked McConnell over the bankruptcy comments on Wednesday, doubled down during his daily press briefing on Thursday afternoon, saying that the revenue shortfalls his state faces because of its Covid-19 mitigation efforts apply to “many of our sister states, red and blue alike.”

“Senator, if you are watching, remember that you are from the party of Abraham Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan; three American presidents who when faced with challenges found ways to meet those challenges, to be greater than the challenges, to rise up,” Murphy said. “They did not get small. They got big in that moment, and that is the challenge, senator, to you and to all leaders in this country.”

Murphy has repeatedly said New Jersey will require federal block grants to stave off calamity, including “historic” layoffs for a huge swath of the state’s public workforce.

Guidance from the federal Treasury Department for CARES Act funding distributed to state and local governments has put New Jersey in an even worse position, Murphy said.

The guidance, issued on Thursday, specifically bars state and local governments from using the funds as a form of revenue replacement. Murphy said he’d received assurances that the funding would be flexible but that “those assurances apparently were empty."

“Sadly, the message from Washington to our first responders and to our educators and to others on the frontlines is clear. As you work tirelessly to stop this pandemic, to keep people safe, our national leadership thinks you are not essential and that you should in fact fear for your jobs,” Murphy said.

Murphy is a former diplomat who has largely refrained from taking direct shots at Republican officials over their response to the pandemic.

Cuomo said congressional Democrats should have insisted on having aid for state and local governments in the most recent coronavirus stimulus bill, H.R. 266 (116). He has repeatedly lashed out at his fellow New Yorker, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the rest of the state's delegation for, in his view, negotiating a series of relief packages that shortchanges New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis with more than 250,000 confirmed cases and 15,000 deaths.

Cuomo has been warning that New York is staring at across-the-board cuts of 20 percent or more to schools and other sectors without federal assistance.

Cuomo also repurposed a line of argument that he’s used frequently during the Trump era, noting that New York residents pay more in taxes to the federal government than they receive back in the form of government programs and services. Red states like Kentucky, he noted, are net beneficiaries.

“I don’t believe they want to fund state and local governments, and not to fund state and local governments is incredibly short-sighted,” Cuomo said, referring to Republican members of Congress.

Sam Sutton contributed reporting.

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