Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's push for states to declare bankruptcy "one of the really dumb ideas of all time" at a press conference Thursday to update New Yorkers on the coronavirus.
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I also want to speak to a point from our friends in Washington. Senator McConnell, who is the head of the Senate, we’ve been talking about funding for state and local governments, and it was not in the bill that the house is going to pass today. They said, “Don’t worry, don’t worry. Don’t worry, the next bill.” As soon as the Senate passed it, this current bill, Senator Mitch McConnell goes out and he says, “Maybe the states should declare bankruptcy.” Okay. This is one of the really dumb ideas of all time and I said to my colleagues in Washington, I would have insisted that state and local funding was in this current bill, because I don’t believe they want to fund state and local governments, and not to fund state and local governments is incredibly shortsighted. They want to fund small business fund, fund the airlines.
I understand that, but state and local government funds police and fire and teachers and schools. How do you not fund police and fire and teachers and schools in the midst of this crisis? Yes, airlines are important. Yes, small businesses are important. So police and fire and healthcare workers who are the front line workers, and when you don’t fund the state, then the state can’t fund those services. It makes no sense to me. Also, it makes no sense that the entire nation is dependent on what the governors do to reopen. We’ve established that. It’s up to this governor, it’s up to this governor, it’s up to this governor, but then you’re not going to fund the state government. You think I’m going to do it alone? How do you think this is going to work? And then to suggest we’re concerned about the economy, states should declare bankruptcy. That’s how you’re going to bring this national economy back? By states declaring bankruptcy? You want to see that market fall through the cellar?
Let New York state declare bankruptcy. Let Michigan declare bankruptcy. Let Illinois declare bankruptcy. Let’s California declare bankruptcy. You will see a collapse of this national economy. So just dumb. Vicious is saying, when Senator McConnell said, this is a blue state bailout, what he’s saying is if you look at the states that have coronavirus problems, they tend to be democratic states. New York, California, Michigan, Illinois. They are democratic states. So if you fund states that are suffering from the coronavirus, the democratic states, don’t help New York state because it is a democratic state. How ugly a thought. I mean, just think of what he’s saying. People died. 15,000 people died in New York, but they were predominantly Democrats. So why should we help them? I mean, for crying out loud, if there was ever a time for you to put aside your pettiness and your partisanship and this political lens that you see the world through Democrat and Republican and we help Republicans, but we don’t have Democrats. That’s not who we are.
It’s just not who we are as a people. I mean, if there’s ever a time for humanity and decency, now is the time. And if there was ever a time to stop your political, obsessive political bias and anger, which is what it’s morphing to, just a political anger, now is the time and you want to politically divide this nation now, with all that’s going on? How irresponsible and how reckless/ I’m the governor of all New Yorkers. Democrat, Republican, independent. I don’t even care what your political party is. I represent you, and we are all there to support each other. This is not the time or the place or the situation to start your divisive politics. It is just not.
That’s why, look, our rules has been very simple from day one. There is no red and blue. There should have never been a red and blue when it comes to when the important issue, but certainly not now. And that’s not what this country is all about. It’s not red and blue, it’s red, white and blue. And when we talk about New York tough, we’re all New York tough, Democrats and Republicans, and we’re all smart and we’re all disciplined and we’re all and we’re all in this together and we understand that and that’s how we operate. And we operate with love, and we’re strong enough to say love. To say love is not a weakness, it is a strength. And New Yorkers are that strong.